St. Francis’s call is a call to return to the basics of Christianity. It is a call to Christians to reach back to their roots so that their spiritual lives can draw strength from the pure waters of the Gospel instead of being choked by manmade traditions and worldly concerns. In the words of G. K. Chesterton, the coming of Francis “marked the moment when men could be reconciled not only to God but to nature and, most difficult of all, to themselves. … his whole function [was] to tell men to start afresh and, in that sense, to tell them to forget” (124).
While St. Francis of Assisi is one of the most beloved saints in history, the relevancy of St. Francis for our times in light of the election of Pope Francis has yet to be explored. This book is written with the intention of filling that gap. While it is biographical in nature, it also freely explores themes that relate to St. Francis but are not a part of his life. This book is about more than the life of St. Francis of Assisi; it is about the impact this beloved saint has had through his imitation of Christ, his love of poverty, the Franciscan movement, and his profound influence on Pope Francis.