Finding Saint Francis in Literature and Art (The New Middle

Discovering Saint Francis in Literature and paintings demonstrates that remembering Saint Francis of Assisi should still happen on many degrees. The authors during this choice of essays use the instruments of assorted highbrow disciplines to envision what we now learn about Saint Francis in his personal period and the way the tale of Il Poverello has been appropriated in our personal instances.

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A certain virtuous and truthful knight, Sir John of Greccio, who had abandoned worldly military activity out of love of Christ and had become an intimate friend of the man of God, claimed that he saw a beautiful little child asleep in that manger whom the blessed father Francis embraced in both of his arms and seemed to wake it from sleep. Not only does the holiness of the witness make credible the vision of the devout knight, but also the truth it expresses proves its validity and the subsequent miracles confirm it.

The work of the painter coincides with Franciscan thinking in three ways: the selection of scenes in the basilica, the formal composition of individual scenes, and the inclusion of exceptional figures witnessing the events of Franciscan legend. Francis dedicated his life to following the words of the Gospels, giving up earthly goods and aspiring to be like Christ in a new spirituality, as an alter Christus. The names of Francis’s early disciples were known from the Franciscan legends, so a kind of portraiture might have been intended in the frescoes in the Upper Church, though certainly no one who had met Francis was still alive when the paintings were made in the 1290s.

The same types of posthumous Christ-like miracles attributed to Francis—raising the dead, healing the lame and the sick, and so on—were repeated by the designers of the dossals, ref lecting the desire on the part of his contemporaries to confirm the sanctity of Francis. ” With the economy traditionally employed in earlier Italian wall paintings such as the twelfth-century paintings in the lower Church of San Clemente in Rome, two stages of an episode from the life of St. 6 The paintings of the Upper Basilica at Assisi notably differ from the dossals on several counts.

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