ST. FRANCIS by G. K. Chesterton
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I don't have a good picture of this book, and since it was initially published in the 1920's, I don't think the picture would be all that good anyway. St. Francis by G.K. Chesterton is not a traditional biography of the Saint. Instead, it is a historical commentary/biography. Chesterton, a Catholic, was attempting to recapture St. Francis for the Church, after what he felt was an attempt by the Secularists of the day to claim the great Saint for themselves. The commentary focuses on the importance of God in the life of St. Francis, as well as his role in the Renaissance of the 13th Century.
I have to admit, this wasn't what I was looking for in a book about St. Francis. I was looking for more of a biography, so I'll have to continue to look. I want to understand more about the man many have said have came closer to living the life Christ intended than anybody other than Christ himself. If anybody out there has any good suggestions for books on St. Francis, please let me know.
I really liked this book. It's short (I think 94 pages). The pace I read it at made it seem to be about 200 pages, but I don't think that was a bad thing. I have always thought so much of St. Francis. I was eager to learn more about him and I knew Chesterton was a good writer, so I picked up this book. I was not disappointed.
The first time I picked it up, I had checked it out from the library and I didn't get very far before I had to return it. This time, I got it on my Nook, which was astoundingly handy for looking words up in the dictionary on the Nook. I did need to have a dictionary to fully appreciate what I was reading. I would highly suggest looking up the words you don't know in this book rather than guessing using the context. The precise words Chesterton uses often have a double meaning which is significant or are so exact at relating his point, it's impressive.
If you would like a more simple introduction to St. Francis' life rather than a commentary on his holiness and relevance, I highly recommend FRANCIS, HOLY MAN OF ASSISSI by Tomie dePaola. This is a wonderful book, even for adults. Tomie dePaola has many excellent books on saints and Jesus. You should really check them out.