Friday, March 27, 2015

Francis, the patron saint of ecology

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.