By B. Moloney
Bringing the abilities of a literary historian to the topic, Brian Moloney considers the genesis of Saint Francis of Assisi's Canticle of Brother solar to teach the way it works as a gently composed murals. The examine examines the saint's existence and instances, the constitution of the poem, the positive aspects of its sort, and the diversity of its attainable meanings.
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Additional info for Francis of Assisi and His “Canticle of Brother Sun” Reassessed
He sought to raise standards among the clergy, moral and spiritual, preventing clergy from hunting and living with concubines, and improving the standards of preaching. Many rural clergy didn’t preach because they couldn’t. He was particularly sympathetic to the ideals of evangelical poverty preached by certain heretical groups and he was even able to persuade some of them, including the Humiliati of Lombardy, to return to the church. A fresh wind was blowing through the church. This was the context within which Francis went through his protracted and difficult, sometimes confused, conversion experience.
He sold the cloth at the market, as Thomas writes, “in his usual way,” so no questions would have been asked there. And what cloth! Thomas specifically mentions that it was scarlet—in other words, the most expensive, since it would have been silk or velvet. The early Franciscan sources usually comment approvingly on Francis’s contempt for money, but Francis himself obviously did not expect his father to take the same unworldly attitude. Knowing 24 FR A NCIS OF ASSISI A N D HIS “CA NTICLE” that there would be trouble, he prepared an underground hideout, where he hid for a month, eventually emerging to face mockery and derision on account of his unkempt appearance.
He would have finished his education by the age of fourteen at the latest, by which age it was usual for the children of merchants to be apprenticed to learn their trade. Francis almost certainly went straight into his father’s business. Francis’s father, Pietro di Bernardone (Peter the son of Big Bernard) was a very successful cloth merchant. There was no standardized system of surnames at this time, by the way: Francis was baptized Giovanni, which is why he observed with particular devotion the Baptist’s feast day (II, 241), and was only later named Francesco, di Pietro di Bernardone.
Francis of Assisi and His “Canticle of Brother Sun” Reassessed by B. Moloney