Monday, January 14, 2008

St. Francis: a Mensch of a Saint

If you're tired of portraits of St. Francis as little more than a Birkenstock-clad hippie, a Peace Corps social worker, or an effeminate tofu-eating Green Party activist, read this book. Frank M. Rega, St. Francis of Assisi and the Conversion of the Muslims (TAN, 2007) reveals the real St. Francis, who, among other things, was also a brave “knight of Christ” who boldly preached Christianity to the Muslims at the risk of his life. St. Francis accompanied the Crusaders to Egypt on the Fifth Crusade, and boldly walked right into the Muslim camp in a spectacular attempt to preach Christianity to the sultan and his followers. His goal was to convert the Muslims, rather than to simply engage in “dialogue” as such. Yet at the same time, he actually was also a supporter of the armed Crusade. He made such an impact with his preaching, that the sultan rebuffed some of his own religious advisors, the imams, who were insisting that Islamic law required that Francis must be beheaded.

This historic event constitutes the focus of this book, yet this volume also includes a comprehensive biography of the saint. Here's what some others are saying about the book:
  • "The most important book on St. Francis in English, in recent years." Brother Alexis Bugnolo, Editor, the Franciscan Archive,

  • "This is a rare and daring approach to the life of St. Francis and one that is so necessary in our world at this time." From the Preface by Father Angelus M. Shaughnessy, O.F.M. Capuchin and EWTN TV Host.
Mr. Rega has been a Third Order (Secular) Franciscan for the past 25 years. His first book, Padre Pio and America, is also published by TAN Books. A Henry Rutgers Scholar and Phi Beta Kappa at Rutgers, Mr. Rega studied at Yale University’s Institute of Human Relations on a Woodrow Wilson Fellowship. Most recently he was employed by Compuware Corp. as a software engineer on projects for NASA and the Department of Homeland Security.

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