Utterly in love with Jesus Christ and living in poverty, Francis of Assisi touched history. Christians, followers of other religions and even those who declare they have no faith, find they have something in common with him that stirs their sympathy. In 1209, as a young man from the Umbrian region, he went to see the pope. He sought permission to live exactly as Jesus Christ had done: poor obedient, celibate. From a distance the pope saw Francis and his eleven companions. But he had Francis sent away, banishing from his presence the very man sent by providence who could have turned his hopes for the Church into reality. Later, the pope recalled a dream he’d had. He had seen the Lateran basilica leaning dangerously to one side, when suddenly a little monk, looking like a beggar, supported it with his shoulder and stopped it from collapsing. ‘Of course,’ the pope understood, ‘that monk was Francis of Assisi!’ How could he not listen to him? We today, can listen to him through his writings, the stories and biographies that speak of him. It would be like a new dawn, reversing the decline all around us into a new future.
The texts in this book can all be found in the Early Documents series of the Franciscan movement published by New City in three volumes plus a fourth volume containing the index for these Early Documents.
Born in 1967, Gianluigi Pasquale entered the Order of Capuchin Franciscans in 1983. He holds a Ph.D. in Theology and in Philosophy and is professor at the Pontifical Lateran University in Rome. He is also the author of various books on St Francis and on Padre Pio.