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Francis of Assisi: A Revolutionary Life

3.74  ·  Rating details ·  156 Ratings  ·  19 Reviews
Francis of Assisi (1182-1226) was the least dogmatic of saints, seeing himself as God's troubadour or fool. His life was rich in its succession of dramas. After his debauchery as a young playboy, merchant and soldier - he fought at the Battle of Collestrada - he stripped naked in court, abandoned everything he owned and devoted his life to the poorest and the sick. On his ...more
Paperback, 352 pages
Published September 1st 2003 by Paulist Press (first published June 27th 2000)
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Aug 07, 2008 rated it it was amazing
This book is awesome, whether you are a Christian or not on the transformation of a spoiled brat in to one of the most kind and generous people in history.
Katherine Scott
Jul 21, 2017 rated it really liked it
Well written book about a fascinating man. Sometimes difficult to keep up with all the Italian names and places, but well worth the effort. See my full review at
Sep 23, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Truly inspirational - both life and biography. If you ever doubted whether strength and humility could co-exist this you should read this and know what true strength is
Nov 09, 2008 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
It's a miracle! I finished this book!

A Revolutionary Life reads like a term paper of House's research of other biographies and papers. It's very factual and sites it sources perfectly. House talks a lot of what is happening in Europe during St. Francis' pilgrimages, which is tedious, but beneficial. People had short life spans back then, so if you didn't like the current Pope or Government, just wait a couple of years and they'd be dead.

I wanted to read more about St. Francis because Hermann Hes
Jun 21, 2016 rated it it was amazing
A REVOLUTIONARY LIFE We hear a lot about revolution these days in this 21st Century and here is a man who lived a radically revolutionary life centuries ago. Can you be a revolutionary? It is certainly a tough road to walk, especially barefoot or in sandals as St. Francis literally did. The author and the Foreword by Karen Armstrong emphasize that this biography is for everyone and anyone regardless of their faith tradition, religion or agnosticism or atheism. I have spent a lot of time readin ...more
Minako Morin
Feb 10, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This book took me a while to finish. It is fairly long and quite academic, with some esoteric vocabulary relating to religions and specifically to Catholicism. But it's not all hard dry. It's written very thoughtfully with tender care, and it had me stop now and then to really, and I mean really, reflect on what I had just read. It is ultimately a very uplifting book.

t appreciated the author's approach and style, particularly after reading Linda Bird Francke's version of Francis's biography, wh
Rancy Breece
Mar 29, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I was only familiar with St. Francis from the film "Brother Son and Sister Moon" and and stories about his ministering to animals. This is an excellent biography that brings this remarkable man to life, details his contributions to his faith and more importantly to the world. What is remarkable is how well known he was during his own time and how much influence he had even though he had no position in church hierarchy. This book is well researched and detailed while being an absorbing and reward ...more
Airam Siakānuaj
May 01, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I loved the first half of this book and devoured it quickly! The second half got a little... academic. I was hoping that the author would maintain the first person story-style biography a bit longer. But overall a good book. It's obvious, by the way, that the author is not Catholic. So if you're looking for a spiritual read, consider another biography of St. Francis.
Chris Lemig
Oct 24, 2007 rated it liked it
Gets a little academic at times. When you're not neck deep in dates and names it's a pretty readable and inspiring account of St Francic's life. This was a man who truly believed in practicing unconditional love towards all people.
Jan 01, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Concise and informative; a good introduction to such a unique, influential person. If you're interested in the more notable church figures throughout history, worth the read. Even if you're just curious, as I was, still worth the read.
Jun 05, 2009 rated it liked it
I really enjoyed the first part of the book with its vivid descriptions of Medieval life and Francis' conversion. I was less satisfied with the second half of the book, which sometimes goes off on long tangents or gets bogged down in psychology.
Jul 27, 2009 rated it really liked it
Lovely and wished it was longer. WIll probably reread in years to come.
Heady, thick, and satisfying

An academic treatment for sure. Easily bogged down in names and places unfamiliar to me the story of n inspired life shines through and inspires.
Jun 09, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Well-written biography I read in anticipation of a trip to Unbria. House captures the personality of Francis beautifully, and does so with excellent historical perspective.
Recommended by Sister Mary Jane as a readable but not overly academic look at Francis and Franciscans. 4 January 2012
Brett Francis
Jan 02, 2012 rated it it was ok
Shelves: non-fiction
As informatige as it was I sometimes felt like it wandered a little too often and I had a hard time really getting into it as much as I would have wanted.
Sep 03, 2012 rated it really liked it
I actually enjoyed reading this book with its secular viewpoint on St. Francis - it was a very objective stance. I found it really interesting.
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“(An) Analogy has been drawn between the metaphysical experience of prayer and an ordinary human friendship. This may progress from initial civility, through engagement in common business, to conversations of mutual interest punctuated with companionable silences; after that meetings may become occasions for sudden outbursts of passionate conviction or declarations of love. ” 2 likes
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