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Posted November 2, 2006

Book: Francis and Clare of Assisi: Selected Writings
Editor: Emilie Griffin
Harper San Francisco, New York. 2006. Pp. 128

An Excerpt from the Jacket:

“The writings found within this volume speak to a longing deep within my spirit to run away from the worldly trappings of life in favor of a remote location void of cell-phone coverage, BlackBerry and e-mail connections, and reality television. I picture myself in a stone cottage tucked away in the corner of a forest lined with ferns and redwoods, praying and studying scripture while transcribing what the Holy Spirit reveals about my purpose. Throughout this book I found myself wondering how my own life would have been altered if I had crossed paths with Saint Francis or Saint Clare.” From the Foreword by Michael Morris, author of Slow Way Home.

This beautiful collection of works from two of the most beloved religious figures of all time gathers the letters and writings of both Francis and Clare of Assisi in a poignant presentation of the power of faith and simplicity that speaks powerfully to us in our hectic world. Francis of Assisi is a widely celebrated saint, well-known for his love of nature and his remarkable life of poverty. Clare is the woman who lived out his legacy in Assisi after his death, passing on his vision and his cause. Together they shaped the spirituality of early thirteenth-century Europe. Both born to noble families, they ultimately rejected their wealth and founded religious orders known for fostering humility, generosity, and devout faith, where communities of like-minded persons could live out a radical commitment to the gospel message of poverty. In the process Francis and Clare left a spiritual heritage that has captured the imagination of both believers and nonbelievers throughout the ages.

An Excerpt from the Book:

O blessed poverty,
who bestows eternal riches on those who love and embrace her!
O holy poverty,
to those who possess and desire you
God promises the kingdom of heaven
and offers, indeed, eternal glory and blessed life!
O God-centered poverty,
whom the Lord Jesus Christ
Who ruled and now rules heaven and earth,
Who spoke and things were made,
condescended to embrace before all else!

Table of Contents:

1. The writings of Saint Francis

1. The canticle of Brother Sun

2. The canticle of exhortation to Saint Clare and her sisters

3. The exhortation to the praise of God

4. The prayer before the crucifix

5. The prayer inspired by our father

6. The earlier rule

7. The later rule

8. The rule for hermitages

9. The salutation of the Blessed Virgin Mary

10. The salutation of virtues

11. The testament of Saint Francis

12. The blessing given to Brother Bernard

13. The blessing sent to Saint Clare and her sisters

14. A letter written to Lady Jacoba

15. The testament written in Siena

16. True and perfect joy

Part II: the writings of Saint Clare

1 - 4 The first, second, third and fourth letter to Blessed Agnes

5. The letter to Ermentrude of Bruges

6. The rule of Saint Clare

7. The testament of Saint Clare

8. The blessing attributed to Saint Clare