Happy St. George Day! And Who Is Saint George?

April 23 celebrates the date of the martyrdom of St. George, a little-known saint by Americans, but one who, through the centuries, has stood as a shining star among all saints. He is also the patron saint of England. His origins, however, are obscure. George is thought to have been a British soldier who was put to death in April a.d. 303, under Diocletian, though the story's origins are uncertain. According to the fifth-century Apocryphal Acts of Saint George, he held the rank of tribune in … [Read more...]

Who Is the *Real* Francis of Assisi? A New Book Hasn’t Found Him

A Review of When Francis Saved the Church, by Jon Sweeney(This review is part of the Patheos Book Club.)  by Wendy MurrayWhen I was living in Assisi, Italy to work on my book about the life of Saint Francis of Assisi -- titled A Mended and a Broken Heart -- a friar and scholar with whom I regularly consulted exhorted me with a statement I have never forgotten: He said, “Francis is an ocean--don’t say we caught him.”In this way I am always curious to read new … [Read more...]

What You Do, Do — With a Swift Pace and Nimble Step

Clare of Assisi died 760 years ago tomorrow (August 11, 1253). Yet she remains as much a beacon for women and men of faith today as she did in her own day. For centuries the story of Clare  has been interpreted through the life of Saint Francis of Assisi (1182-1226), the one-time playboy who was destined to become Catholicism’s most popular saint.Yet her indomitable faith complements that of her guide and truest love, St. Francis, whom I wrote about in my book A Mended and Broken Heart: The L … [Read more...]