Tells the authentic story of St. Francis' trip to the Sultan in Egypt and efforts to convert him to the One True Faith. Also includes a brief biography of St. Francis; including his stigmata; the Franciscans; St. Clare; and St. Francis' view of the Crusades. A book greatly needed in our era of false ecumenism.
About the Author
Frank M. Rega is a third Order secular Franciscan who has long studied St Francis of Assisi and Padre Pio. In addition to writing St. Francis of Assisi and the Conversion of the Muslims, he is also the author of Padre Pio and America. Aside from writing, he also moderates a 350-member internet prayer group based on St. Pio, and hosts SanPadrePio.com. Frank Rega studied at Yale University, and has been employed as a software consultant.
Item No: 2193 (Grouped)
Publisher: Saint Benedict Press, LLC
Publication Date: 2009
Binding: Paperbound and eBook
Dimensions: 5.5" X 8.5" X 0.38"
Five Stars Review by George R. Kadlec "Truth Teller"
Excellent - A worthy critique by Mr. Rega. (Posted on 11/29/2014)
This is an excellent, well-researched but extremely readable book Review by Barbara McKay "Barbara McKay"
This is an excellent, well-researched but extremely readable book. It gives insight into the man, into the saintly, deeply courageous and committed man St. Francis was. He went to convert the Muslims, not negotiate with them, at the very risk of martyrdom. He knew God and knew the Catholic faith and believed absolutely with every breath of his life, every minute of his life. The book is short, but that does not lessen it's quality. It makes me want to learn more about St. Francis to more fully understand the life and the very fruitful works of this man whom everyone called "the saint." (Posted on 11/19/2014)
good overview of the event between Francis and the Review by Stephanie Georgieff
Short and to the point, good overview of the event between Francis and the Sultan (Posted on 7/28/2014)
Well sourced and realistic Review by Kenneth Murphy
It's not a bed time book for your children.This book is for adults who want to really know St. Francis.It's detailed and well sourced for historical records. (Posted on 7/28/2013)
Definitely worth reading Review by DonV
This is a wonderful book on St. Francis of Assisi (who regrettably is perhaps the MOST misunderstood saint of the Catholic faith). To many people St. Francis is just "the animal lover" or some hippy who talked to birds or relegated to the prayer "Lord make me an instrument of Your peace". While most people are unaware the tremendous strength and fortitude of this incredible Saint. Who boldly accompanied the Christian army during the 5th Crusade, and with complete disregard for his own life, met and challenged the Sultan face to face. NOT to have a casual chat, but to convert the Sultan and his Saracen army to Christianity.The book is broken down into three parts. The first part deals with Francis' early life and his gradual lean toward a complete and total religious lifestyle which he created (the Franciscan Order).The second part of the book revolves around Francis accompanying the Crusader army into Egypt and his attempts to convert the Muslim Sultan.The third part is Francis' post-Crusade years.For anyone wishing a deeper knowledge of St. Francis this is a great start. You will learn something new about him and deepen your appreciation for this remarkable saint. (Posted on 7/18/2013)
Wonderfully-written, inspiring book Review by Reader in Palo Alto
Provides great insight into a little-known period in the life of Francis of Assisi. Very well written, it is very interesting to people of all faiths (or no faith), and provides a beneficial context for better understanding the long-term uneasiness which exists between the Christian and Muslim worlds. (Posted on 4/23/2010)
St. Francis Meets the Sultan Review by Happy Loumin
Have you ever wondered why it's the Franciscans in their long brown habits with rope ties who lead you along the Via Dolorosa, The Way of the Cross in Jerusalem, the most sacred of Christian sites and Christian moments?In this excellent narrative of St. Francis coming face to face with the Muslims, Frank Rega (a Phi Beta Kappa and Woodrow Wilson scholar) traces a great and controversial moment in Christian history--the meeting of Francis of Assisi with the Sultan al Malik al Kamil, one of the most important leaders of Egypt, Palestine and Syria, in the hot summer of 1219, during the Fifth Crusade. Questions come to mind immediately: what on earth was Francis doing on a Crusade? What was his plan? his hope?Strangely enough, there are probably many Christians, many Catholics, who are not aware that a crucial meeting took place between Francis and the Sultan. Those who knew Francis, as well as scholars and intellectuals through the centuries, have written tomes opining and debating the reason for Francis' bold venture into the enemy camp during a lull in the heated battle at Damietta, Egypt. But march in he did, with the might of his faith and one companion! He expected he would most likely be martyred. He was not. Instead....This is Rega's entry into the debate. Francis, who had renounced the world, reduced himself to rags and the most austere living, and who loved every soul and creature on earth, joined the 5th Crusade "in a courageous attempt to preach the Gospel. . . in the Middle East," writes Rega. Standing in his beggarlike habit, Francis began to speak, and because of the simplicity of his arguments and the confidence he exuded, the Sultan was willing to listen to Francis' words. These are gripping moments, and one feels Rega's passion for the subject in his driven narrative, as he shows a Francis many of us have not met before. Along the way, Rega clarifies every question and possibility put forth by theorists, especially today, who "reduce this saint to a glorified social worker, nature lover, or 'the first hippie.'"Much took place in those few days--or maybe they were more than a few; it is not known--resulting in the unprecedented gesture of the Sultan giving Francis a permit of safe passage to travel "without hindrance" anywhere in the Sultan's domains. Hence, a special relationship existed between the two men, which resulted in allowing the friars to eventually obtain custody of the Christian shrines in the Holy Land. The Sultan also eventually released 30,000 Christian prisoners and negotiated a peace with the Holy Roman Emperor, Frederick II, in which he returned Jerusalem to the Christians, with Muslims keeping their holy sites. This was the period in which the first Franciscans came to Palestine to care for theChristian sites, and they are still there today!When Francis finally returned to Italy, he went on to another great Catholic moment on Mt. Alvernia--receiving the stigmata, the Crucifixion wounds of Jesus Christ. This is one of the many dramas in his life that could stand out as the moment he stepped into history. Part of this book is an essence-biography, highlighting the heart and soul of the man whose love for Christ held no room for compromise, and who ultimately reformed the Church. The better to understand why he went to the Middle East.One of Francis' most passionate disciples was Clare--beautiful, wealthy, patrician--who escaped her pursuing family to follow the impoverished Francis' path. Only 18, if she had any vanities, she left them completely in a gesture of renouncement, letting Francis cut off her glorious blonde hair, and giving up her beautiful clothes and jewels for the rough Franciscan habit. These two figures captured the imagination of Christian Europe, and not by halfway measures. . . .Rega's research goes back to 13th-century volumes. He asks the polemical questions about Francis' mission and offers his own answers at the conclusion of the book. Although intensity of Faith and Belief has faded in much of the world in our time, St. Francis remains relevant and is still an ambassador for Christ and the Gospel, a blaze of love for all souls, everywhere. (Posted on 3/6/2008)
St. Francis of Assisi and the Conversion of the Muslims Review by V. L. Spalding
St. Francis of Assisi and the Conversion of the Muslims by Frank Rega is very well researched and written. I found it pleasant to read, as well as very informative. The book explained in great depth the story of the conversion of the Sultan and also gave a greater insight into the character of St. Francis, his own background and conversion. The book also showed St. Francis' respect for all humans. In his desire to convert the Sultan, St. Francis never treated him with disrespect. His goal was only to teach him about Christ and draw him closer to God.Saint Francis was a peacemaker, but he also recognized the importance of bearing arms in special circumstances, such as in defense of one's country. Being a parent of a son, serving in Iraq, and also a Franciscan, I truly delighted in being reminded of St. Francis' great love for God, his desire to unite all people, regardless of race or religion, and his ability to bring peace to troubled areas. I think all who read this book will acquire a greater love for St. Francis, as well as a true appreciation for his humility and respect for humankind.Lord, make me an instrument of thy peace! (Posted on 2/4/2008)
The Real Saint Francis Review by Michael Whitcraft "mwhitcraft"
When one thinks of Saint Francis of Assisi, often what comes to mind are images of a soft and weak man immersed in a pacified landscape, full of birds and bunny rabbits who are awestruck at every word that falls from his lips. However, reality frontally challenges this limp-wristed portrayal.This is evident from Frank Rega's controversial new book, Saint Francis of Assisi and the Conversion of the Muslims. The author successfully dispels many of the myths spread about the saint's persona. He states: "To reduce this saint to a glorified social worker, a nature lover, or `the first hippie' is a great disservice to his true heritage."On the contrary, Mr. Rega paints the true picture of Saint Francis: a saint of prayer, courage and action, who, contrary to the claims of many modern biographers, actually supported the Crusades.The second section of Saint Francis of Assisi and the Conversion of the Muslims proves this contention. This part stands alone, for those who are only interested in reading about the saint's correspondence with the Muslims. However, it is sandwiched between two other sections, which recount the saint's life before and after his missionary journey to the Middle East. Together, these three sections make up an informative and highly readable biography of the Seraphic Father.The book's main thrust and most interesting section deals with Saint Francis' true position in face of the Muslims. He felt a tremendous desire for their salvation and even risked torture and death to bring them the Gospel. However, he explicitly denounced Islam as a false religion that leads to damnation.Thus, addressing himself to the Sultan, Saint Francis said: "If you do not wish to believe, we will commend your soul to God, because we declare that if you die while holding to your law, you will be lost; God will not accept your soul."This contrasts with the false idea of ecumenism commonly promoted today. The author explains: "Saint Francis' dialogue with the Sultan was a dialogue of conversion to Jesus Christ, not a dialogue of finding common ground in order for the two religions to coexist peacefully."Mr. Rega also refutes the misconception that Saint Francis was opposed to the Crusaders taking military action to regain the holy land. While the saint wanted the Muslim's conversion above all, he felt that war was justified if they did not accept Christ and adamantly held to the regions they had stolen from Christian hands.Thus, when the Sultan argued that the Crusaders were not following the Gospels which taught that one should turn the other cheek when offended, he quickly rejoined quoting Our Lord's words taken from the same discourse: "if thy right eye scandalize thee, pluck it out and cast it from thee."Saint Francis explained:"Here He wanted to teach us that every man, however dear and close he is to us, and even if he is as precious to us as the apple of our own eye, must be repulsed, pulled out, expelled if he seeks to turn us aside from the faith and love of our God. That is why it is just that Christians invade the land you inhabit, for you blaspheme the name of Christ and alienate everyone you can from His worship."Mr. Rega's work is filled with evidence to support his own Crusade against those revisionists who would like to paint a less virile Saint Francis. He decries those for whom Saint Francis: "was not a bold Christian evangelist, but a timid man, whose goal was to have the friars live passively among the Saracens and `to be subject to them,' rather than convert them to the True Religion."This book is a must-read for those whose minds have been sullied by the effeminate portrayals of Saint Francis that have been widely circulated. It can serve to shatter this false impression and reveal the true spirit of a great saint. (Posted on 1/5/2008)