Saint Francis the Doctrinaire

Father Kenneth Baker, S. J., has written a short and delightful review of a recent book on Saint Francis of Assisi: “Preach Christ to the Muslims” The volume in review is St. Francis of Assisi and the Conversion of the Muslims, by Frank M. Rega, S.F.O.

These two excerpts are worth savoring:

Trusting absolutely in God and willing to die for the faith, Francis was at first beaten by the guards but eventually taken to the sultan. The sultan was favorably impressed by the humble, kindly Francis and listened to him. The guards wanted to chop his head off, but the sultan said “No” and received him as his guest. Francis spent a few weeks with the sultan, preaching to him the Gospel of Jesus Christ and telling him that if wanted to be saved, he had to become a Christian.

St. Francis preached Christ to them as the only savior of the world and he was ready to die for the faith.

Wait a minute, is this the same chap we’ve known, since scholarly discoveries in the 1970s, as the patron saint of animal rights activists? He sounds so… medieval.