by Helen Walker Homan
This was an engaging biography on Saint Francis, though not so much on Saint Clare – she kind of pops up at the beginning of the book for a minute and then again at the end. Saint Francis, whose father was a successful merchant, came from money and had plans to become a knight. He lived very similar to the way young men with well-off parents live today. He had fine clothes, an awesome horse (they didn’t have cars yet) and he spent a good deal of time partying with his friends. The neighboring city attacked Assisi so Francis joined the fight to free his city. He ended up getting captured and spent a long while as a POW in the enemy dungeon. When he returned home, he resumed his vacuous lifestyle with his friends until he fell very ill of a mysterious sickness. After he came out of it, he gave up his depthless lifes and started to do things to help the less fortunate around him until God asked him to rebuild his church. So, he worked to rebuild the crumbling San Damiano. From there, he renounced his wealth and became the Saint Francis we think of today. It was quite a story with very little downtime. From hugging the lepper to hanging out with a Sultan to taming a man-eating wolf. He was an exceptional man that lived the kind of life that everyone would find interesting. My 8thgrader and I both liked this book and learned a lot about a very holy man. I would recommend it.