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The Little Flowers of Saint Francis

4.11  ·  Rating details ·  981 Ratings  ·  43 Reviews
St. Francis of Assisi--the saint who preached to birds and wolves, the saint whose vow of poverty changed Christian ethics forever, the saint who repented of his fleshly sins by loving the material world--was also a pretty great writer. His Little Flowers, a series of 53 short chapters ranging in form from wild stories to serene meditations, is perfect bedtime or devotiona ...more
Paperback, Penguin Classics
Published 1959 by Penguin (first published 1390)
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Feb 06, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It's good to remember that 7,000 miles and about 800 years separate me and this strange Italian man.
But not only is the world of space and time bigger than I am used to thinking; the possibilities that arise when a human being becomes a genuine friend of the Lord are much weirder, more surprising, delighting and baffling than I ever knew.
Lee Ann
Jun 24, 2009 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: religion
I really hated this. It took tremendous will power just to finish it. The first Franciscans seemed more crazy than holy. They falsely equated The Order with salvation, sometimes with very unchristian results. Francis at one point damned a monk to Hell for starting a school. Several times the authors told tales where someone left the Order and was almost immediately struck dead by God and dragged down to hell. The Order also seems very materialistic. Their Holy Poverty depends upon other people s ...more
Feb 02, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: classic
adult faith in action

Bought and read at Bennington fall semester 1971 and then gave to François for our first Christmas.

Rereading and savouring August 2016.
Catherine Corman
Because his mind was altogether freed and abstracted from earthly things he was like the swallow.

-Pope Gregory IX on St. Francis
Donna S
Mar 25, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
In a world that is so focused on material goods, we are witnessing the rise of a generation that wants it all, and feels entitled to have it all. This book is a humbling lesson in poverty and a reminder of what is truly needful.

"Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven." ~ Matthew 5:3
Jul 22, 2007 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ministry
Interesting insight into Fransican spirituality. Helpful to read to understand some more Catholic spirituality and what is upheld as virtue. But truly not my cup of tea. I can't believe in the self-flagellation and self-loathing St Francis and his brothers believed in.
Elizabeth Mcnally
This is a book I often read. I love St Francis.
James Stacey
Feb 28, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
What I enjoy about this spiritual classic about St Francis of Assisi is that you don't have to take it literally to gain its treasures. (The Bible, though a wonderfully rich text, can have that problem, especially for someone like me who has hung around evangelicalism quite a lot). The Little Flowers (Fioretti) is full of obvious legend about the famous and fascinating medieval saint - from conversing with birds to befriending wolves - yet what comes through is a vision, a picture, a dream: that ...more
Vasco Ribeiro
Livro sobre a vida de S. Francisco e seus primeiros companheiros, escrito por discípulos.
Muito inocente e dedicado
Jun 04, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: religion
Father Serra chose the name Junipero based on his character in The Little Flowers, and I wanted to see what that was all about, and was not disappointed. He is, as the editor states, "the favourte of children everywhere."
St. Bonaventure's life was for me most enjoyable, having a more modern organization, but all three works had their own virtues and surprisingly little overlap.
"For, as in the picture of the Lord and the Blessed Virgin painted on wood, the Lord and the Blessed Virgin are honou
Jun 25, 2013 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
The format and translation of this book make it difficult to read (e.g., there are no paragraphs and the English is very dated). Furthermore, I found the first sections and the closing counsel from Friar Giles to be very interesting but the large middle part that delved into purgatory and several mystical passages were challenging for me on a conceptual level.

I read this book due to my fondness for Saint Francis and it did help provide some historical backdrop to his life. I came away with an ap
Todd Luallen
Aug 22, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A wonderful look at the lives of many in the 13th Century monastic life. This was my first look into the monastic life, and it was very interesting. Especially because the book is an easy read due to the quick little stories in which it is told. Much of the book describes what would described as miraculous events that occurred in and around St. Francis and others in his Order. The last portion of the book (15%) has some practical teaching on holiness from Brother Giles which was a little less ex ...more
Lu Dongyi
St. Francis' asceticism described in this book is truly impressive. But what I also realized after reading this book is that what I'm interested in is philosophical theology, not miracles.
Jul 30, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I liked their devotion to Christ and communion with him, their desire to disdain the things of the world to gain Christ, and the bizarre things that happen to them when in prayer. However they also seem extremely unloving toward each other, (not sure how it is possible to love God but not fellow man), and even curse others to hell. It's very catholic in perspective, with purgatory, reverence of Mary and Saints,and earning forgiveness.
It took me about 8 months to read as I could only handle a few
Voglio giustificare il voto basso. Non significa che non mi sia piaciuto leggere della vita di San Francesco, dei suoi miracoli e della fondazione dell'ordine. Innanzitutto, non ho gradito che in questa edizione sia stato mantenuto l'italiano volgare perché la lettura ne risente diventando poco scorrevole. In secondo luogo, non c'è un'introduzione e non ci sono approfondimenti, cose che avrei molto apprezzato. Il voto basso, quindi, va più che altro alla scelta editoriale e non al contenuto.
J. Alfred
Oct 24, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A collection of the sayings and legends of St Francis, collected apparently two hundred years or so after his death. Did you know that Francis apparentlly experienced stigmata after he prayed that he might feel the pains of Christ? That he tried to go and witness to the Islamic world? That Dante says that God raised up Francis (and Dominic) to heal the church of its materialism? None of this is in this book, but it's still pretty great. Fascinating stuff.
Mar 23, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This hardback Quality Book Club Edition has one prayer or thought per page of St. Francis of Assisi. The entries are short and concise, thus called the Little Flowers. I have given this book to my fried Donna, a Franciscan as I feel pretty sure it will be appreciated there. I would recommend this book to anyone looking to deepen their spiritual life.
Aug 05, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: christian
There were some real gems in here - spiritual maxims, potentially famous future quotes, good ays of seeing things - but in the main I found the 100 year old English, overly Catholic doctrine, asceticism, and dubiousness of some of the stories a little much for me.

I'd love to learn more about Assisi though, and give other writings about him a chance.
Matthew H
Jul 23, 2007 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: religious
It was a good book of folk tales surrounding the Franciscan Order and it's founder, the devout Saint Francis.

You definitely need to have some faith to be able to take these stories at face value. Also, if you're not a Catholic you might have some trouble with some of the Theological principles.

Still, it's an inspirational (and short) read about a Godly man.
This book shares stories about St. Francis and members of his order. There seems to be a lot of lore in the book, but what I couldn't help admire these men with such passion for Christ, for prayer, and for poverty.
Adamo Lanna
Aug 25, 2010 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: medioevo, 300
Sì, dunque, San Francesco ha fatto tanti bei miracoli e poi dopo un cento anni circa ne hanno tratto questa serie tv su libro. Io dico la verità li ho letti, e neanche mi sono annoiato anzi tre o quattro sono sfiziosi, in fondo poi il fantasy mi è sempre piaciuto.
Rick Davis
A collection of stories about Francis and his monks that are equal parts history, folk tales, and anecdotes. The high points for me were the stories of Friar Juniper. He's a Franciscan Amelia Bedelia.
May 24, 2007 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fleshiereads
I really wish I liked magic realism, or at least symoblic legendism, as a genre. As I am, I kept thinking, "Come on Frankie, show us you're true colors." And then I had to hit myself to keep from singing that horrible song...
Aug 14, 2007 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I didn't really know what to do with this as I have no real understanding of saints and how to read about St. Francis. I appreciated the stories, but kind of left wanting a more objective look of St. Francis. This definitely piqued my interest significantly.
Towards the end of '08, I read the first 40 or so pages (the preface, introduction, and chronology) and was captivated!!! But, I have to put school readings first... I can't wait to come back to this text. (3-19-09)
Apr 12, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Una profunda y, a la vez, sencilla lectura sobre la espiritualidad de San Francisco y sus frailes. Un recordatorio de lo que significa amar a Dios y de como Dios desea regalarnos a todos sus virtudes y favores siempre y cuando nosotros estemos dispuestos a pedirlos con fervor y humildad.
Jul 30, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
one of my favorites
Oct 19, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: literature
I am not particularly religious, especially not Catholic, but this is really fascinating.
Monica Myllers
May 08, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I love the message that St. Francis gives with his great love for all beings and nature.
Mar 22, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mon-dieu
in a time people may think religion is just part of a resume this little gem of a book can reexamine that
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  • The Ascent of Mount Carmel
  • The Spiritual Exercises
  • Revelations of Divine Love
  • A Serious Call to a Devout and Holy Life
  • The Way of Perfection
  • Apologia Pro Vita Sua (A Defense of One's Life)
  • St. Francis of Assisi: A Biography
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  • The Life of St. Anthony
  • The Cloud of Unknowing
  • The Rule of Saint Benedict
  • Introduction to the Devout Life
  • The Desert Fathers
  • The Christian Tradition 3: The Growth of Medieval Theology 600-1300
  • Journal of a Soul
  • Scivias (Classics of Western Spirituality)
  • Saint Francis of Assisi
  • Visits to the Blessed Sacrament
Saint Francis of Assisi (1181-1226) was a Roman Catholic friar and the founder of the Order of Friars Minor, more commonly known as the Franciscans.

"To most people ... there is a fascinating inconsistency in the position of Saint Francis. He expressed in loftier and bolder language than any earthly thinker the conception that laughter is as divine as tears. He called his monks the mountebanks of G
More about Francis of Assisi...
“All the darkness in the world cannot extinguish the light of a single candle.” 4407 likes
“And St. Francis said: 'My dear son, be patient, because the weaknesses of the body are given to us in this world by God for the salvation of the soul. So they are of great merit when they are borne patiently.” 49 likes
More quotes…