St. Bonaventure University

Gospel Life of Francis of Assisi Handbook

The Franciscan Institute at St. Bonaventure University has published a new handbook introducing the theology and spirituality of St. Francis of Assisi.

The free handbook provides readers with a simple methodology for entering into the spirituality of St. Francis using passages from his Earlier Rule of 1221.

It includes links to a 30-part series of short YouTube videos on the life of St. Francis completed by Franciscan scholars Fr. Wayne Hellmann, O.F.M. Conv., and Dr. Jay Hammond of St. Louis University.

The handbook is the work of Dr. Luke Togni, a scholar with a doctorate in Franciscan theology from Marquette University, who is presently working as a research fellow for the Franciscan Institute. The prologue and afterword for the handbook were written by Fr. David Couturier, O.F.M. Cap., executive director of the Franciscan Institute and associate professor of theology and Franciscan studies at St. Bonaventure University.

The handbook is available free of charge as a service to brothers and sisters, religious and secular, who want to learn more about the latest research into the life of the Poverello but don’t have access to research libraries. They are being provided thanks to a generous donation from the O.F.M. Province of St. John the Baptist and the Alma Kraus Endowment for the formation of Secular Franciscans.

“For years the Franciscan Institute has been producing research that has found its way into select libraries. Now, we can make available to a new generation of women and men in distant and sometimes poor countries the same tools once reserved to libraries. Our brothers and sisters everywhere can now access this material on the internet," said Fr. David.

“My gratitude goes to Fr. Wayne, Dr. Hammond and Dr. Togni for their superb scholarship, to the donors whose financial support was invaluable, and to all the research assistants and staff who worked for years on this project, I believe the Franciscan world will be grateful, as well.”


Access the handbook and videos

"The Gospel Life of Francis of Assisi" handbook and videos are available after completion of a very brief survey, which is accessible from the link below. Upon completion of the survey you will be taken to the handbook and videos.