Saint Francis is generally regarded as the patron saint of ecology. His life and the transformations he went through to move from great wealth and an ostentatious lifestyle to a vow of poverty, his close link with nature, and his single-handed effort to end the Crusades make for a very dramatic story.
He is also the first person recorded as experiencing the stigmata*, something he, as a very humble man, took great pains to conceal.
I researched Francis’s life from the earliest sources, including people who knew him on down through many subsequent writers whose research filled in the gaps in his historical record.
I have tried to present Francis’ story in the context of the world in which he lived, hoping to help readers better see the moments of his life — to experience with him his path to conversion, and his struggles with the church and medieval society.”
*The stigmata are wounds that appear on the hands and feet similar to those Christ suffered at his crucifixion.