by Thomas of Celano, translated by Placid Hermann, OFM
The best way to get to know Francis and his message is to see him through the eyes of someone who knew him. Thomas of Celano walked with Francis, knew Francis and followed him. This translation of Celano’s First and Second Life of St. Francis enables us to see and experience Francis as his contemporaries did.
1988: 406 p.
edited by Arnulf Camps, OFM, and Pat McCloskey, OFM
Genghis Kahn and Francis of Assisi were contemporaries, but lived worlds apart. By the mid-1200s, their followers had encountered each one another in Karakorum (Mongolia). In 1294, John of Monte Corvino settled in Khanbaliq (Beijing) and began preaching the Good News of Jesus Christ in modern-day China. By the time of his death in 1328, friars from several countries had begun to build up a Church truly Chinese and truly Catholic. This book presents the life and work of the Friars Minor in China during the last 700 years. Based on 1,110 pages of scientific monographs, the text concentrates on the years 1925-1955 yet provides considerable information up through 1995. The Order of Friars Minor grew from John of Monte Corvino's early efforts beginning in 1294 to include 28 mission territories. In 1948 there were over 700 friars working in China, about 20% of whom were Chinese.
by John E. Lynch, CSP, PhD
edited by Stephen F. Brown, OFM
French Franciscan Vital Du Four was a counselor to two popes, Clement V and John XXII, and was a central figure in the poverty controversy of the early fourteenth century. Vital du Four (Bazas, 1260-Avignon, 1327) was a French Franciscan theologian and scholastic philosopher. He became Cardinal in 1312 and bishop of Albano in 1321. This book is principally concerned with the eight disputed questions - De cognitione - which were written at Toulouse between 1297 and 1300; during the time of the great poverty controversy. A number of Vital du Four's works were historically and erroneously attributed to John Duns Scotus. Writing in the period between Bonaventure and Duns Scotus, Vital du Four reflects the influence of Bonaventure and, in turn, influenced Scotus. In Vital du Four, one finds a Franciscan who - even before Scotus - was powerfully affected by the philosophy of Henry of Ghent. He accentuated the primacy of intuition and the importance of the individual in his writings which had a profound affect upon the history of philosophy and theology when they were articulated in the writings of a next-generation philosopher and Franciscan, William of Ockham.
By André Cirino, OFM, and Josef Raischl
In 1943-44, amidst the horrors of war, Assisi had another time of true glory. While the Allies had just landed in Sicily, Assisi was occupied by German troops. There, three men worked together to do something constructive rather than destructive:
Bishop Giuseppe Nicolini, the German commander, a medical doctor, Col. Valentin Müller and Don Aldo Brunacci.
Divided by the war, they remained nevertheless united by their Christian faith and its mandate of unconditional love. They obtained that Assisi be made a hospital city, a city for medical care, not for military confrontation; a city for healing, not for fighting. The anthology highlights the heroic efforts of Nicolini and Brunacci by which many Jewish refugees survived, correcting the distorted historical account of the book and film “Assisi Underground.”