Francis of Assisi: The Life and Afterlife of a Medieval by André Vauchez

By André Vauchez

Title note: First released in French as François d’Assise: Entre histoire et mémoire
Publish 12 months note: First released in 2009 by way of Librairie Arthème Fayard, the place it was once offered the Prix Chateaubriand. First to be had in english in 2012.

In this towering paintings, André Vauchez attracts at the tremendous physique of scholarship on Francis of Assisi, emphasizing particularly the $64000 study of the final 30 years. He creates a whole and interesting portrait of the saint, then explores how the reminiscence of Francis was once formed via contemporaries who recollected him of their writings.

Vauchez completes the e-book via atmosphere "Poverello" within the context of his time, bringing to mild what was once new, magnificent, or even stunning within the existence and imaginative and prescient of this man.

The first a part of the publication is an interesting reconstruction of Francis's lifestyles and paintings. the second one and 3rd elements care for the myriad texts—hagiographies, chronicles, sermons, own stories, etc.—of writers who recorded points of Francis's existence and move as they remembered them, and used these remembrances to build a portrait of Francis appropriate to their matters. within the ultimate a part of the ebook, Vauchez explores these facets of Francis's lifestyles, character, and religious imaginative and prescient that have been specified to him, together with his event of God, his method of nature, his figuring out and use of Scripture, and his influence on tradition in addition to culture's effect on him.

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Extra resources for Francis of Assisi: The Life and Afterlife of a Medieval Saint

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The author of the Legend of the Three Companions, who reports this habit of Francis’, sees there the precursor of a generosity and charity that would later extend to all of humanity and especially to the most disadvantaged. But this interpretation a posteriori probably idealizes a more prosaic reality: son of a merchant and nouveau riche, friendly with young aristocrats, Francis had to get them to forget his unremarkable origins and the source of this money that he was so generous with. Moreover, the activities of these bands of youths had nothing edifying about them; and there is no reason to think that Francis might have behaved differently from his companions.

Perhaps it was the Society of Dancers of Assisi, which certain documents of the thirteenth century mention, or the Society of the Staff, attested to at a later date, who noisily came out on the occasion of religious feasts, especially during that of Saint Vittorino—former bishop and one of the patron saints of the town—on June 13, or during the feast of San Rufino on August 11, or San Nicolò, or other more secular feasts, like the Calends of May, which marked the return of summer, or even the feast of wine, after the harvests.

In fact, the sight of lepers seems to have acted on Francis like a mirror of his own condition of sin. In not turning away from these repulsive people who, in the medieval mind, incarnated not only a horrible malady but also the suspicion of a hereditary defect or some abnormal sexual behavior which would have caused it, Francis overcame the obstacle and humbly recognized that he, too, shared an analogous condition. In the Middle Ages, lepers were considered the dregs of society. A leper had to shake a rattle when he moved about in order to alert healthy people against sudden encounters—so much did they dread the contagion that was attributed to the leper’s breath, which supposedly corrupted the air around him.

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