The Life of St. Francis of Assisi - St. Bonaventure
Author: St. Bonaventure
Publisher: Tan Books and Publishers, Inc.
Pages: 172 pp
“Francis, go and build up My house, which as thou seest, is falling into ruin.” Three times did Our Lord from the crucifix make this command of St. Francis, as he lay prostrate in prayer in the Church of San Damiano. And though he died at only 45, St. Francis of Assisi (c. 1181-1226) had drawn around him, through the example of his humility and his purity, a vast number of followers, who became the start of the Franciscan Order, and it was through his order that he was to fulfill Our Lord’s command. Never ordained to the priesthood, St. Francis nonetheless was a preacher of great renown and he was a miracle-worker of the first order – curing, prophesying, casting out devils, turning water into wine, and raising people from the dead. Even St. Bonaventure (c. 1220-1274), author of this Life of St. Francis of Assisi – which was the first official Franciscan biography of St. Francis – had been cured of a childhood illness by the Saint.
Indeed, though not arranged in typical biographical form, The Life of St. Francis of Assisi by St. Bonaventure conveys a picture of the Saint through his miracles, his sayings and his holy life that renders an indelible impression of a man totally transformed in God and totally transformed by God. From this story one can understand why the beloved and ever-popular St. Francis of Assisi is called the “Seraphic Patriarch”, that is, the “Angelic Father” – for no other word but “angel” can truly describe him.