THE PERFECT JOY OF ST. FRANCIS by Felix Timmermans

THE PERFECT JOY OF ST. FRANCIS

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KIRKUS REVIEW

As almost naively devotional treatment of the inspiring story of St. Francis and the Order he founded. The text, stripped of the impedimenta of period trappings and worldliness, flows quietly through the years of Francis' life, from his symbolic and legendary birth, through his boisterous youth as son of a wealthy cloth merchant, his break with his father when he turned his back on the military role for which he had been cast and chose instead to become the bridegroom of lady poverty. His saintliness drew others to him, and the Order known by his name was established. For the rest of his life he fought to retain the regulations he had laid down, to live as he interpreted the Gospele literally, free of possessions. His perfect joy was suffering and humiliation. He avoided such temptations as came his way -- not least among them the longing to be with Clare, whose sainthood reflected his own. In successive failure of the Crusades in which he took part -- in the conflicts within and without his Order and the dominance of the Roman hierarchy -- in the physical price he paid for self-flagellation and punishment, he suffered as man as well as saint. The miracles which legend has preserved are made integral to the story, the ultimate being the stigmata received on Mt. Alverne. A story that never states is here rendered in devout and simple terms that will touch the believers.

Pub Date: June 13th, 1952
ISBN: 0898706661
Publisher: Farrar, Straus & Young