St. Francis of Assisi

Narrated by: Simon Vance
Length: 4 hrs and 4 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (242 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Saint Francis of Assisi is one of the most influential men in the whole of human history. This acclaimed biography of Saint Francis examines the life of a pure artist, a man "whose whole life was a poem". Here is the Saint Francis who prayed and danced with pagan abandon, who talked to animals, and who invented the crèche. Yet Francis also acknowledged the mystic responsibility to communicate his divine experience. Chesterton examines the existence of the pure eccentric and the devout mystic in one man, offering an understanding of Saint Francis in both body and soul. It has been said that G. K. Chesterton converted to Catholicism in 1922 because "only the Roman Church could have produced a Saint Francis of Assisi".

This biography, published shortly after Chesterton's conversion, is universally considered the best appreciation of Francis' life, one that gets to the heart of the matter.

©1923 Gilbert Keith Chesterton. © renewed 1951 by Oliver Chesterton (P)2016 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

What listeners say about St. Francis of Assisi

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Beautiful blending of a great book and an exceptional reader!

Do not hesitate—buy this book. Not only is Chesterton’s book worthy of our attention, but also Mr. Vance is the perfect narrator for this book. A beautiful spiritual and literary resource.

5 people found this helpful

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About Time

I have been waiting (praying) for an audio version of this book for sometime now. It is beautifully read, but I find difficulty sometimes in comprehension through the English accent and older form of language. I believe that Chesterton's writing is more about digesting and less about reading, and the audio version allows for precisely that - because I played it on the slower speed which allowed me to hang onto words and moments just a little bit longer.
This is the best audio version of Chesterton's books, in my humble opinion. Enjoy!!

11 people found this helpful

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read and reread

loved it! read it over and over. lead me to deeper love of Jesus Christ

6 people found this helpful

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An Essay vs a Biography

Towards the end of the book the author makes a statement that clarified its purpose for me, calling this an "essay on St Francis" . I came in expecting a biography, but it is much more a series of reflections on events in the life of the saint, and their impact, in the unique and indomitable style of GK Chesterton. It is enjoyable and enriching, but don't expect a chronological biography of the traditional sort, or to come away with an overview of this life.

2 people found this helpful

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Incredible

A wonderful narrative of a exalted yet incredibly tangible man. The closing is wonderful and the performance was riveting.

1 person found this helpful

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Thoughtful, well written, well read

Simon Vance is a wonderful narrator for this style of writing.

GKC delicately handles difficult issues in telling the life and meaning of a great saint.

1 person found this helpful

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St Francis of Assisi

This book surprised me. It was not what I expected. The format is similar to defending your theists hitting upon events that occurred to the society around St Francis. It provided me a mindset as to how saints should be studied but not the meat I desired.

2 people found this helpful

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Informative

I like Chesterton, his introductions are quite eliminating. So too has he achieved his purpose by wetting my appetite for more information. This is a small informative book on the man we call Francois of Assisi!

2 people found this helpful

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Excellent Treatment of St. Francis

First, slow down the listening speed to .80. The narration is at a pace that is far too fast to glean well what Chesterton has to offer in phrasing and accuracy to his points (and humor).

Second, an excellent and balanced treatment of St. Francis that both contextualizes him historically, and offers introduction to the unique newness he offers (both then and now). Even if you've read other treatments of Francis, you'll enjoy this one (not the least by which is due to G.K.'s wit). This book would serve both those new to Francis and those far more familiar with his life, as it carries a sense of the spiritual along with it (while not imposing it on the reader).

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Could not tolerate this one....

After a half hour of listening, the author was still bloviating about some, to me, pointless twaddle about St. Francis without ever actually discussing anything that this favorite saint said or did. I gave up. I get better information from Wikipedia.