Gospel Living: Francis of Assisi, Yesterday and Today

Gospel Living: Francis of Assisi, Yesterday and Today

Gospel Living: Francis of Assisi, Yesterday and Today

Gospel Living: Francis of Assisi, Yesterday and Today

Excerpt

An inter–Franciscan group from the countries of Europe gathered in 1978 to prepare for the celebration of the 800th anniversary of the birth of St. Francis of Assisi in 1982. In addition to planning a number of gatherings and celebrations, the group proposed a variety of literary and artistic initiatives. This book is but one of several enduring contributions from that creative gathering of the brothers and sisters who were committed to following Christ after the example of St. Francis.

Gospel Living: Francis of Assisi — Yesterday and Today is divided into three distinct but related parts. Part One is a study of the life of Francis and the roots of the movement he inspired. Written by Anton Rotzetter, O.F.M. Cap., it relies heavily on the early sources and scholarly literature. Rotzetter not only summarizes what is known about Francis and his vision of Gospel life, he also suggests areas where further study and research are needed for a deeper appreciation of the Poverello and those he inspired in the early decades of the movement. In Part Two, Willibrord–Christian Van Dijk, O.F.M. Cap., gives a concise and insightful presentation of the manner in which the Franciscan movement evolved and developed in the different Franciscan Orders. Van Dijk identifies the broad themes which characterized the movement and provides a framework for a more detailed study of the Orders for those who wish to pursue further study in areas of particular interest. Thaddée Matura, O.F.M., reflects on the life and challenges of the contemporary followers of Francis in Part Three. The diverse work of the three authors converges to form a whole which tells the story of Francis and his followers as it evolves toward the edge of its eighth century of striving to live the Gospel in new contexts with creative fidelity to Francis’s vision and insight.

The authors originally wrote in their native languages. Anton Rotzetter prepared the original edition in German and, in conjunction with Benzinger—Verlag, authorized this English translation by The Franciscan Institute in 1986. I am grateful to the translators who accomplished their work while fulfilling other responsibilities. Elise Saggau, O.S.F., is to be commended for the hours she devoted to the painstaking work of editing the volume while pursuing her degree in Franciscan Studies at The Institute.

I am confident that the availability of this volume in the English–speaking world makes a valuable contribution to our growing body of resources. Hopefully, it will assist many to come to a deeper understanding of Francis while encouraging them meet the challenge of living his vision into the future.

F. Edward Coughlin, O.F.M. 19 March 1994 Feast of St. Joseph

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