A Mended and Broken Heart
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Francis of Assisi is Catholicism's most popular saint. Tens of millions of spiritual seekers summon his name and example. But the real Francis--both his complicated personality and his complex theology - have been misunderstood for centuries. In 1228, Pope Gregory IX rushed to canonize St. Francis only two years after his death. Soon thereafter, the Church eliminated significant aspects of his biography from the public record. For Francis's early life was defined by his profligacy; shortly before dying, Francis himself warned his brothers: "Don't be too quick to canonize me. I am perfectly capable of fathering a child."In A Mended and Broken Heart, journalist Wendy Murray slices through the bowdlerized version of Francis's life promoted within the Catholic tradition and reveals instead a saint who was in every way also a real man. Murray stresses in particular the crucial but completely neglected role that Clare of Assisi played in Francis's life, both pre- and postconversion, and his theology.
A profoundly humane portrait of a misunderstood saint, A Mended and Broken Heart makes a powerful case that St. Francis's life and thought make him a role model for religious seekers of every faith.
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Ho-hum, didn't grab me.
Can a book about a Saint be described as cute? This was a "nice" read, in a sweet-not-quite-syrupy tone. Simple and one dimensional. It had a quality of being a compilation of small neat church approved stories strung together in response to a class assignment. It is written (and to my tastes narrated) in rather drab style, lacking strength and any sort of literary passion.
Difficult for me to finish because after many pauses I couldn't remember if I had finished it. Perhaps we don't have much information to choose from about Francis of Assisi? That seems impossible. A man such as he was, to have had such an impact on history, lead me to imagine that a biography of St. Francis would come close to revelation. I was expecting more. I don't have a significantly enriched idea of who he was, now, after completing the book, than before I started.
I'd classify this as an overview. It wasn't a complete waste of time but got close in places.
I highly recommend you listen to the sample of this book to make up your mind about the narrater before you finalize your purchase.