Chesterton's "Saint Francis of Assisi" (1181-1226) is the popular biography of a beloved Christian saint and founder of the Franciscans, told by an equally beloved author and storyteller. It is an accessible, interesting and compelling story of a man known more by legend than fact. In this brilliant reflection on the poor friar of Assisi, G. K. Chesterton unfolds the life and times of St. Francis, from his conversion as a young man to his receiving of the stigmata at the end of his life. While many modern biographers stumble in their effort to grasp the essence of the saint, Chesterton shows that Francis' entire life--his prayer, his poverty, his asceticism, his love of creation, and all his eccentricities--flowed from his profound love for Christ and all men. In Chesterton's colorful prose, St. Francis shines with the splendor of sanctity and calls each of us to the same intense and animating love for God and His people. The enigma that is St. Francis of Assisi is one with which we should be intimately familiar. Upon first glance our age seems incredibly dissimilar to the time in which Francis lived; however, closer examination will reveal a similar zeitgeist. G. K. Chesterton takes us into the life of St. Francis not by giving us a list of facts, dates, and accomplishments, but rather by taking us into the mind and heart of the man. As with any person, mere facts cannot truly tell the story that only knowing the person can tell. With this book one feels as though he has come to know Francis, rather than just know about him.
This book reads like a letter of introduction of St. Francis of Assisi to the modern world. Skeptics as well as the devout are invited to understand this man who turned the world on its head, or rather turned himself on his head to see the world more clearly.
G. K. Chesterton (1874 1936) was one of C. S. Lewis primary mentors in apologetics, and an influence even in his conversion. Novelist, poet, essayist, and journalist, Chesterton was perhaps best known for his Father Brown detective stories. He produced more than 100 volumes in his lifetime, including biographies of St. Francis of Assisi and St. Thomas Aquinas. His "Everlasting Man," which set out a Christian outline of history, was one of the factors that wore down Lewis resistance to Christianity. Chesteron was one of the first defenders of orthodoxy to use humor as a weapon. Perhaps more important was his use of reason to defend faith."