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Franciscan scholar Cusato writes new biography of St. Francis

Oct 05, 2023

A new biography of Francis of Assisi by Fr. Michael Cusato, scholar-in-residence at St. Bonaventure Friary, represents decades of original research and reflection by the author, one of the leading historians of the Franciscan phenomenon working in the world today.

Francis of Assisi: His Life, Vision and Companions," was published in 2023 by Reaktion Books in London, within the context of their "Medieval Lives" series.

Its originality consists in approaching the life and charism of Francis within the vision developed by Francis and his earliest friars in order to generate a spirit of both personal (individual) and societal renewal through the values of the gospel.

"Eschewing the more popular depictions of the Poverello of Assisi, the book lays out a stunning vision, rooted in Francis' encounter with the lepers, of the creation of a just and fraternal society, which embraced not only the poor and wealthy of his time but even those denounced as the enemies of Christendom (most notably, the Muslims of Islam)," Cusato said.

I bring to bear in this volume insights, which are the result of years of research on Francis, into a crisp and engaging narrative that offers a unique and compelling vision of the meaning of Francis and his friars, relevant in their day and in ours as well."

Cusato, a professor of Franciscan Studies, served as dean of the former School of Franciscan Studies at St. Bonaventure and as director of the Franciscan Institute. His publications list includes some 125 articles.