Reluctant Saint: Life of Francis of Assisi (Compass) Paperback – 30 Sep 2013
- Choose from over 13,000 locations across the UK
- Prime members get unlimited deliveries at no additional cost
- Find your preferred location and add it to your address book
- Dispatch to this address when you check out
Frequently Bought Together
Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought
Enter your mobile number below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
Getting the download link through email is temporarily not available. Please check back later.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
"An engaging and revealing portrait of a remarkable man." --("The Hartford Courant)
"As with The Hidden Jesus, [Spoto again] produces a serious, thought-provoking book." --("Booklist")
About the Author
Donald Spoto, author of The Hidden Jesus, taught theology, Christian mysticism and biblical literature at the university level for twenty years. His other eighteen books include internationally bestselling biographies of Alfred Hitchcock, Laurence Olivier, Tennessee Williams and Ingrid Bergman.
What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?
Top Customer Reviews
If ever there was an unlikely candidate for sainthood it was Francis. He came from a prosperous family, was rebellious, served as a soldier, and made a place for himself in the business world of his time. Is this the Francis that we revere today because of his unselfish kindness and compassion? The story of his transformation, although probably well known, is presented with fresh insights by Spoto.
The author views Francis from the standpoint of history, and infuses his biography with telling details of religion and society during Francis's day. Given these insights our traditional view of the saint is enhanced. In addition, readers learn a great deal about the turmoil and violence which was rampant in medieval Italy.
After reading this thoughtful study one no longer sees Francis as a thin other worldly figure surrounded by animals. That stereotypical picture is replaced by a portrait of an authentic human being, thanks to Donald Spoto.
Be warned - the author is quite partisan, and is clearly a fond believer in (and has a very clear understanding of) the supreme power of selfless love, never mind whether it's cloaked in organized religion or the humble garb of a poor mystic. There's no codology about selfish genes here. And you don't need to be a Christian to be affected by this book.
However, I was rather disappointed to find so little on Francis' love of animals. It is finally mentioned around page 100, and 4 pages there take up the subject, including back-ground information on other medieval Christians' similar love of animals. The subject is given honourable, but brief, mention a few times again, including (movingly) at the end. But I feel for such an animal lover they would have featured much more visibly in his daily life and that is largely absent from most of the book.
I feel it wise to consider this if his relationship to animals is a subject you are researching.
And yet, I cannot bring myself to deduct a star, this book is that good.
Brilliantly written. I gained so much from this read. Donald Spoto imparted his slant on religion mysticism and christianty with deep empathetic perception, whilst taking me through the historical events surrounding St Francis.
Now of course I am hooked, and I am currently reading The Hidden Jesus.
His total love for his saviour and his deep awareness of the suffering, outcast, rejected Christ enabled Francis to embrace absolute poverty (with joy) and reach out to others who were rejected by society - the lepers, the poor, the unloved and the unwanted. With an all encompassing love of nature, he invited all of creation - animals, plants, natural forces, including Brother Sun and Sister Moon to honour their maker (as he did). He fostered compassion and sought peace at a time when power, status; institutionalised religion and brutal warfare ruled the day (in many ways it still does).
The acute suffering of Francis, coupled by his total dependence on God nearer the end of his life is heart-rending. Donald Spoto has produced a book that goes beyond accomplished writing - this book could ultimately change hearts and minds. Having read this book, I want to lead a life less cluttered by materialism and more focused on love of God, nature and neighbour.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I really enjoyed this book. One of the best about Francis I have read. Great historical background without getting too heavy. Read morePublished 25 days ago by JB Norwich
Quite excellent; captures this remarkable Saint in a most understandable way; sets him in his era.Published 10 months ago by SWL Strickland
Haven't read myself yet but a friend who I loaned it to thought it was great reading.Published 13 months ago by Andrew Smith
It took me nearly a hundred pages before I found myself warming to this story from Donald Spoto about one of the most famous Saints ever and once I did I just wanted to continue... Read morePublished 16 months ago by P. WILLIAMS
Seems historically accurate. Separates legend and myth from facts. Very readable.Published 21 months ago by Edward Trillo
Reluctant Saint: Life of Francis of Assisi.
This is a brilliant work of art from Donald Spoto. This is the 2nd book I've read on St Francis and is brilliant. Read more
Very thorough and interesting biography. The author has researched very well and it was informative re history of that time, and the church, but also sensitive and thought... Read morePublished on 17 May 2014 by Linz