Talk:Francis of Assisi

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Sources[edit]

There is a LOT of reliance here on G.K. Chesterton's biography/hagiography of Francis. This is a quite dated work now, lacks all the recent scholarship and was written for purposes other than transmitting an accurate biography. He was, as he himself claimed, writing a spiritual work. It might be better to source this in either the very early biographies (e.g Thomas of Celano) or some more recent scholarly text - perhaps Lawrence Cunningham? quintavalle (talk) 18:34, 1 April 2009 (UTC) Quintavalle

I feel similarly in regards to Quin's point. Although if I refresh the article, it will be without the spiritual language. There are plenty of hagiographies out there, and this is an encyclopedia. If I go to far in a change or not far enough, I hope that someone will discuss it here first and not just undo the change.Merbeliumph (talk) 22:27, 18 February 2010 (UTC)

Inaccuracies regarding "Canticle of the Creatures"[edit]

Apologies, because I am not a frequent wiki contributor. I couldn't find out how to best discuss/dispute this content, so I thought I'd start here. There are a few possible inaccuracies in this section of the Francis of Assisi#Nature_and_the_environment article:

Part of his appreciation of the environment is expressed in his Canticle of the Sun, a poem written in Umbrian Italian in perhaps 1224 which expresses a love and appreciation of Brother Sun, Sister Moon, Mother Earth, Brother Fire, etc. and all of God's creations personified in their fundamental forms. In "Canticle of the Creatures," he wrote: "All praise to you, Oh Lord, for all these brother and sister creatures."

Based on my research, I've found a couple discrepancies that may need addressed.

  1. The article implies that "Canticle of the Sun" and "Canticle of the Creatures" are two separate works of St. Francis, however, I've not been able to verify such. In fact, my searches (see "Canticle of the" Sun Creatures - Google Search) and even the supporting wiki article (Canticle of the Sun), treat them as the same piece of literature.
  2. More importantly, the Francis of Assisi#Nature_and_the_environment article in question and several other online sources (see “All praise to you, Oh Lord, for all these brother and sister creatures." - Google Search) reference "Canticle of the Creatures" as the source of the quote "All praise to you, Oh Lord, for all these brother and sister creatures." However, in every text of this canticle that I've found online (see "Canticle of the Creatures" - Google Search), not one (including the wiki entry for Canticle of the Sun) actually contains the aforementioned quote. Simply put, I am inclined to suspect that the citation from Duke Magazine Campus Observer "Blessing All Creatures, Great and Small" (November/December 2006) is incorrect along with several other sources found online.

brandonjp (talk) 04:37, 29 April 2010 (UTC)

Francis' Death Date[edit]

I pulled this section out of the talk archive because people continue to change St. Francis' death date. Whoever keeps changing Francis' death date from October 3rd to October 4th, Francis actually died on October 3rd. The reason his feast day is on the fourth is due to early church ideas of dealing with vigils and starts of days. Francis died on the evening of October 3rd. Many Franciscan churchs and monasterys have Transitus services on October 3rd to celebrate his death (transition to the afterlife.) Marauder40 (talk) 15:27, 3 June 2010 (UTC)

The article claims that Francis was meditating on Ps 140 (141) in one section, and Ps 141 (142) in another. Which was it? — Preceding unsigned comment added by 123.3.51.233 (talk) 04:45, 2 October 2013 (UTC)

Introduction[edit]

I submitted the following since the article on St. Francis invited a better introduction.

St. Francis of Assisi is, after Mary and Joseph and the Apostles, arguably the greatest and most widely popular saint of the Catholic Church. Born to a rich nobleman, he eventually rejected all material belongings and lived a life a strict austerity, selfless charity, and absolute submission to Christ. He was the first to receive the stigmata. He was wildly popular during his lifetime and inspired a huge resurgence of religious devotion. He founded the Order of Friars Minor, more commonly known as the Franciscans, but later gave up any leadership to return to a solitary mountain to pray. The Franciscans remain the largest religious order in the world. Francis was a Catholic deacon and a famed preacher. He sought martyrdom at the hands of the Muslims in Northern Africa and was saddened by his failure.

It was reverted as 'undocumented commentary'.

I'm confused. My introduction gives a solid overview of the importance of Francis (the previous - and now current - is so vague as to leave one unenlightened as to his importance. Why are my changes being rejected?

Also, in the side bar, under "venerated by" the Anglican Communion is listed. That's tenuous. One might as well say 'all Christians' for I'm sure you could find Christians of every stripe who venerate or respect or like St. Francis. The more solid truth is that veneration of the saints is almost exclusively a Catholic and Orthodox practice.

I'm picking up on strange, subtle anti-Catholic, pro-Anglican editing practices...combined with vaguely anti-confessional tendencies. I have no problem with Wiki being rather 'secular' or 'agnostic' in its approach to subject matter, but when we're dealing with someone famed for his Catholicism and confession of faith...it starts getting ridiculous to try to whitewash him to fit a PC mold.

99.62.29.46 (talk) 21:54, 28 July 2010 (UTC)

Your introduction is too "devotional", I would say. All content needs to be verifiable and fact-y, which the status quo does a better job of than does your your version. carl bunderson (talk) (contributions) 04:46, 29 July 2010 (UTC)
You need to remember that everything you add needs to be NPOV, statements like "arguably the greatest and most widely popular" don't really fit in with NPOV. If you can get a reliable source that says the same thing, you may be able to put it in the article. As to whether Anglican belongs. The Anglican church recognizes many of the Saints that the Catholic church recognizes, especially those that were declared Saint before any splits. Just a quick search will reveal several Anglican churches named for St. Francis of Assisi. The difference between putting Anglican and putting "All Christians" is that most Christian churches don't recognize Saints period. They may recognize St. Francis as a holy man, but they don't "Venerate" him. Re-write what you want to add and keep it to just the facts. Marauder40 (talk) 13:13, 29 July 2010 (UTC)

Patron Saint of ...[edit]

From the infobox I removed that he is the patron Saint of San Francisco, the Archdiocese of San Francisco, the Philipeans, etc. I figured the actual list of every city, country, etc. that he is the patron saint of is to large for an infobox. If someone wants to add the information to the appropriate section in the article itself they can, but it needs to be worded in a way that someone doesn't start adding every church, school, etc. that he is a patron of to the list. Marauder40 (talk) 15:35, 19 August 2010 (UTC)

motto of the Franciscan orders[edit]

Did St. Francis have a Personal motto that he passed on to the orders founded and continuing to this day in his name ?17:11, 21 October 2010 (UTC)17:11, 21 October 2010 (UTC)~~ —Preceding unsigned comment added by Skippertee (talkcontribs)

He did: Deus Meus et Omnia (My God and My All); although it is more accurate to say they picked it up from him rather than him passing it on.quintavalle (talk) 03:51, 19 November 2010 (UTC)Quintavalle.

Trial by fire[edit]

anyone noticed how no arab/muslim sources cite that such an event too place? I seriously question the authenticity of this. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 41.206.158.233 (talk) 00:51, 10 January 2011 (UTC)

Doesn't really matter what you think because unless you have a reliable source to back it up you are just stating original research.Marauder40 (talk) 14:15, 10 January 2011 (UTC)
The critic has a point. What's our best RS saying that this happened, and what evidence is it based on? Do commonly accepted reference texts treat the trial by fire as a story or as history? If you read a college history textbook about Francis, what would it say about the trial by fire? Leadwind (talk) 18:58, 11 January 2011 (UTC)
The first appearance that I know of the visit with the Sultan was in the book about St. Francis that was commisioned/written by St. Bonaventure, the Major Life of St. Francis. It is mentioned in Chapter IX

When the sultan saw his enthusiasm and courage, he listened to him willingly and pressed him to stay with him. Francis, however, was inspired by God to reply, "If you are willing to become converts to Christ, you and your people, I shall be only too glad to stay with you for love of him. But if you are afraid to abandon the law of Mahomet for Christ’s sake, then light a big fire and I will go into it with your priests. That will show you which faith is more sure and more holy." To that the sultan replied, "I do not think that any of my priests would be willing to expose himself to the flames just to defend his faith, or suffer any kind of torture" (he had just caught a glimpse of one of his priests, an old and highly esteemed man, who slipped away the moment he heard Francis’ proposal). Then Francis continued, "If you are prepared to promise me that you and your people will embrace the Christian religion, if I come out of the fire unharmed, I will enter it alone. But if I am burned, you must attribute it to my sins; on the other hand, if God saves me by his power, you must acknowledge ‘Christ the power of God, Christ the wisdom of God’ (cf. 1 Cor 1, 24) as true God, the Lord and Savior of all." The sultan replied that he would not dare to accept a choice like that, for fear of a revolt among his people.

As to the other questions, it all depends on which source you read on how it treats it. Bonaventure was a contemporary of St. Francis so he is a pretty good source. The information in the article is already validly sourced via other sources and provides references. To put any other theories in would require proper sourcing. Right now saying anything else is just original research. Marauder40 (talk) 20:01, 11 January 2011 (UTC)
Is that really our best source? What does a modern, secular biography of Francis say about it? Does anyone even know? Leadwind (talk) 23:05, 11 January 2011 (UTC)
I have read many books about St. Francis both modern, not so modern, some critical, some not so critical. Not a single one doubts the meeting with the Sultan took place. Some modern books doubt certain stories about St. Francis actually took place (i.e. some mentioned in the Little Flowers of St. Francis) but I have never seen any book call to question the details of the meeting with the Sultan. Right now all you have is a question from an IP editor, not even a statement from ANY source let alone a reliable source. Until you get ANY source that calls into question whether this happens this discussion is a mute point.Marauder40 (talk) 14:43, 12 January 2011 (UTC)
Aw, don't be that way. The point's not moot because the discussion tells us whether we have any cause to look for a better source. In Bonaventure's account is our best source, then maybe we should look for a better source, like a college-level history textbook. Leadwind (talk) 15:07, 12 January 2011 (UTC)
Bonaventure isn't the source used in the article. Bonaventure is just the first person to mention the events. The sources in the article are Chesterton and Paul Sabatier. They aren't new sources (1924 and 1894), but just because it is newer doesn't make it a better source for a person that was alive in the 1100s. Many of the newer "sources" tend to rewrite history based on their particular want for St. Francis. They tend to turn him into a animal loving hippy when that is far from what he was. As for getting a college textbook view on this, I don't tend to have access to those types of sources. But the fact this event happened is in numerous contempory sources so I still don't see what the problem is. I honestly think more time should be spent on this article sourcing things that haven't been sourced.Marauder40 (talk) 15:51, 12 January 2011 (UTC)
So an editor questions something and we have no contemporary source to back it up. Maybe we should look for one. Leadwind (talk) 16:30, 12 January 2011 (UTC)
I didn't say there aren't any contemporary sources. All you have to do is do a search for "St. Francis sultan fire" on the internet and you will find hundreds. I have read several. There are entire books written about this encounter (i.e. [1]) Based on an IP editor's request I don't see a need to update something that is already sourced. Nothing has been called into question about the sources other then their age. No reliable source has been put forward that shows this didn't happen. It sounds like in your opinion the only source that would be allowed is a college textbook written by a secular author within the last couple years. I personally have never seen that requirement in WP:RS. I think it is a non-issue until someone provides a source to the contrary. Marauder40 (talk) 16:52, 12 January 2011 (UTC)

[1] Two editors raised a good question here about the credibility of the sources relied on for the trial-by-fire legend which Marauder has unfairly (I think) and, in some respects, incorrectly responded to. I accept that Marauder is presenting a case by reference to what the anonymous editor(s) introduced into the article, but (s)he appears to adopt their views as to the relevant sources.

[2] In the first place, and contrary to what Marauder asserts, St. Bonaventure (1221-1274) was not a contemporary of St. Francis (?1181-1226). Bonaventure wrote his Legenda major some time in the 1260's, and even the second of the two Lives by Tomasso da Celano (who was a contemporary of Francis and knew him) was written twenty years after the saint's death. The historicity of Francis' mission to Egypt in 1219 in the middle of the 5th Crusade and the encounter with the Sultan Malik-el-Kamil camped outside Damietta are not in dispute, being sufficiently well-established by a contemporary chronicler, Jacques de Vitry (bishop of Acre, who was present in the Crusader camp); and it is he (along with Celano) who must be the primary sources for this episode in the saint's life. Neither of them mentions any trial-by-fire proposal by Francis to demonstrate the truth of Christianity and the falsity of Islam. Trials-by-ordeal (of which this trial-by-fire was not a typical example) were a Germanic custom which (along with duelling) the popes had always opposed. As recently as the Fourth Lateran Council in 1215 the Church had prohibited (canon 19) the use of any Christian rite from being associated with the ordeal: see the entry in The Catholic Encyclopedia (1911).

[3] Next, Marauder most strangely denies that St. Bonaventure is the source for the trial-by-fire incident when it is precisely Bonaventure who is the only 13th c. source for it (in chapter 9.7-9 of his Legenda major). Even Bonaventure, however, presented the same episode with radically different variations in its later re-telling (a sermon of 4 October 1267 and Collatio XIX, 1273). The Legenda major is manifestly hagiographical as can be seen from the earliest pages (chapter 1.1) where he refuses to accept that Francis' youth (candidly described by Celano) had been spent in flesh-pots.

[4] Then we have Marauder's curious and misguided choice of Sabatier (Vie de S. François, 1894; Eng. trans. London, 1919) as a reliable secondary source. Sabatier is peculiarly ill-chosen for this particular incident for he quotes (op. cit., chapter 13) an almost contemporary letter from de Vitry (sent in almost identical form in February or March 1220 to three recipients, including the Pope whose version did not include the encounter with the Sultan at all) as follows:-

For days together [Francis] announced the word of God to the Saracens, but with little success; then the sultan, King of Egypt, asked him in secret to entreat God to reveal to him, by some miracle, which is the best religion.

We can see here the seeds from which later embellishment can all too easily grow. De Vitry had not, however, mentioned this episode in a letter written in September 1219, when the event was fresh. On de Vitry's material, see chapter 1 of John V. Tolan, St. Francis and the Sultan, Oxford University Press (2009) cited in the references section in the article but not, seemingly, resorted to on the incident. Sabatier adds that in his Historia Orientalis (1223-1225) de Vitry again relates Francis' sermon before the Sultan, and then Sabatier immediately suggests the trial-by-fire incident is a legend:-

As to the interviews between Francis and the sultan, it is prudent to keep to the narratives of Jacques de Vitry and William of Tyre.[in fact, an anonymous continuation: Tolan, chapter 2] Although the latter wrote at a comparatively late date (between 1275 and 1295), he followed a truly historic method, and founded his work on authentic documents; we see that he knows no more than Jacques de Vitry of the proposal said to have been made by Francis to pass through a fire if the priests of Mahomet would do as much, intending so to establish the superiority of Christianity. We know how little such an appeal to signs is characteristic of St. Francis. Perhaps the story, which comes from Bonaventura, is born of a misconception. The sultan, like a new Pharaoh, may have laid it upon the strange preacher to prove his mission by miracles.

[5] Thus, Sabatier is the very source - i.e., one credibly casting doubt on the historicity of the legend - which Marauder challenges other editors to provide (I draw a veil over Marauder's unreasonable and illogical demand that an editor provide a source proving that something did not happen).

[6] Finally, we are offered Chesterton's St Francis of Assisi (1924). This went one further than Bonaventure – which only goes to prove how effortlessly legends acquire accretions. In chapter 8, Chesterton melodramatically wrote of the interview with the Sultan in these terms:-

. . it was at that interview that he evidently offered, and as some say proceeded, to fling himself into the fire as a divine ordeal, defying the Moslem religious teachers to do the same. It is quite certain that he would have done so at a moment's notice. Indeed throwing himself into the fire was hardly more desperate, in any case, than throwing himself among the weapons and tools of torture of a horde of fanatical Mahometans and asking them to renounce Mahomet.

[7] Chesterton gives no hint of who is hidden under the hopelessly vague "as some say". My first thought was that he must have known of the series of panels by Sassetta in the National Gallery in London which show scenes from the life of St. Francis including the trial-by-fire panel (acq. n° NG4761), but these were not acquired until 1934. Whether or not he was familiar with the iconography, Chesterton's version – minus the melodrama – is well attested: Sassetta's brief for the panels is dated 1439; Benozzo Gozzoli's frescos at S. Francesco, Montefalco were painted in 1452. In neither case, however, is there any justification for talk of Francis "fling[ing] himself into the fire" as Chesterton has it: Sassetta shows Francis advancing one foot into the fire whereas Gozzoli has the saint with both feet firmly inside. Chesterton theatrical heightening of an already heightened episode, together with the vague "some say", renders him useless as RS for this incident.

[8] If the incident is to stay at all (and it hardly bulks large in the scheme of things) the correct sources must be given, and a proper qualification added showing that the incident is far from being historically proven and rests squarely on the shaky foundation of Bonaventure.Ridiculus mus (talk) 09:58, 17 March 2011 (UTC)

First off, please read WP:CIVIL and WP:AGF and do not personalize discussions. Second you are opening up a 2 month old discussion and inflecting many things that were not discussed in the original discussion. Pure and simple, there were sources saying the event happened. None of the sources were primary sources. It was up to the original person or persons to come up with a sources saying otherwise. If people question whether the event actually happened reliable sources should be easy to find saying that. They did not at anytime come up with anything saying it didn't happen. This isn't a place for original research or other items. I am not at a location right now where I can address all your items, but many of your items are taking things out of context, OR and not AGF. Just the sections talking about Bonaventure show an agenda. I said Bonaventure wasn't being used. I was correct. He is not the source that is being referenced. Whether other people use his account or not isn't what is being addressed. The complaint was about primary vs. secondary source. Primary would be Bonaventure, secondary is someone other then Bonaventure. Second I said he was a comtemporary. That is true. I didn't say he was a companion. That is two different things. He was alive when many of the people that were companions of St. Francis were still alive. Thus he could interview those people and get information from them. What it comes down to is much of what you are saying is OR. In order to insert anything you need a valid RS that calls the event in question. The original people did not provide anything. Pure and simple, provide what you want the changes to be with the appropriate sources. Right now this entire thing is only a couple of sentences in the entire article. Marauder40 (talk) 19:40, 17 March 2011 (UTC)
Well the last thing I want is a squabble here. I commented on your response to fair comment by two editors which seems to have closed a useful line of inquiry that might have improved the article. Your new comment does not address my points regarding the text of the article on which we need to focus, so I shall wait until you are in a position to engage with them. Meanwhile, the issue is not "sources" per se but reliability. The article at this point references only Chesterton, who is clearly unreliable on this incident and is far from being the best source. Sabatier cannot be substituted because he says the opposite of what he would be cited in support of. On that basis alone the passage must be removed unless some other valid and reliable source can be given, or unless it is recast as a legend (see below), or unless the article is put in balance by reference to criticisms of the historicity of the incident as made by, e.g., Sabatier. The article does not reference Bonaventure here although all accounts of the incident derive from him, so it is imperative to see how reliable he is. The article impliedly addresses his hagiographical bias under Nature and the environment where it correctly mentions:

a collection of legends and folklore that sprang up after the Saint's death

The first reference after that sentence is to Bonaventure. Speculation as to who he might have talked with about this incident is irrelevant. Ridiculus mus (talk) 06:12, 18 March 2011 (UTC)

Trial-by-fire: take 2[edit]

This is a three-part post which I shall stagger. Dissatisfaction with the treatment of the trial-by-fire challenge related in the fourth paragraph in the "Missions work" section of the article has already been made by me and others (see above). Before (2) attending to general problems with the sources cited in this part of the article, and (3) offering my proposed re-write of this entire section, let me (1) draw attention to some other disputable statements and imprecisions in it which demand a full-scale revision of this section. I say nothing for now about the remainder of the article which, however, reads more as a quasi-devotional work than an encyclopedia entry and oscillates between frank admission of "hagiographic legend" and uncritical acceptance of, e.g., Chesterton as a leading authority – 20 citations, whereas Tommaso da Celano (the earliest source) rates no mention whatever, except under "Further reading", despite his being twice mentioned in the text as a contemporary and biographer of the saint. Furthermore, the list of "Books" and "Further reading" as compared with "Bibliography" is confusing, and the rating of items as among these three divisions is arbitrary, to say no more about it. Enough on the article as a whole.

(1) Comments on the "Missions work" section:-

[1] The Sultan's name needs to be conformed to the standard "al-Kamil"; see, e.g., the caption to the fifth illustration and the wiki-article al-Kamil (to which Melek-el-Kamel redirects).

[2] The claim that the Sultan "was impressed enough to give Francis permission to visit the sacred places in the Holy Land" cites Fr. O'Brady OFM in a concise Britannia online article, but fails to reproduce Fr. O'Brady's careful qualification "some say". This alleged permit is first noticed in the sources a century after Francis' death (in the Actus Beati Francisci) but is contradicted by remarks made by Ludolf von Sudheim who was on pilgrimage there between 1336 and 1341 (quoted in Tolan, p.262). As it happens, Fr. O'Brady makes no reference in his Britannia article to the trial-by-fire challenge.

[3] The reference to the Franciscans "of all Catholics, who would be allowed to stay on in the Holy Land" erroneously presupposes that the Franciscans were never excluded, and invites the false inference that non-Catholic Christians were not affected: see here. Also, see a new website launched by the Custodia which includes a brief historical review.

[4] The reference to the Franciscans as " 'Custodians of the Holy Land' on behalf of Christianity" is doubly erroneous. In fact, there is but one "Custos of the Holy Land", which is the official name of the head of the Friars Minor living in the entire Near East (taken to include Cyprus and Rhodes, but not the Arabian peninsula or Mesopotamia). See here. There seems to be a conflation of (a) the role of Custos for the Holy Land, with (b) the role of Franciscans as custodians of the Holy Places in the name of the Catholic Church confirmed since 1342 (pursuant to the Bull of that date of Pope Clement VI, Gratias agimus), as to which see a recent papal letter commemorating the 650th anniversary of that Bull, and para. 6.47 here, as well as Custodian of the Holy Land passim. The Franciscan role at the Holy Places is necessarily a Catholic one and has no reference to the various Orthodox Christian Churches represented there. The next question is: recognized by whom as "custodians"? Important concessions were granted to the Franciscans by the Mameluke Sultan in 1333 regarding (a) the Holy Sepulchre at Jerusalem and (b) in Bethlehem, but these were not exclusive of the claims of other non-Catholic Christians. In 1335 Christian donors purchased land on Mount Zion and the Franciscans rebuilt the ruined Cenacle. (on all this, see Tolan, pp.259ff)

[5] The post of Custos and Pope Clement's entrustment of the Holy Places to the Franciscans has no connection to the episode with the Sultan. The Franciscan connection with the Holy Land began two years before the Damietta encounter, for brother Elias had established a presence in Syria in 1217 (see the link to para. 6.47 on a Franciscan webpage above in the previous comment). That there was a causal relation was first stated in the 14th c. and the idea (united with the devout conviction that Francis must have visited the Holy Places) became more and more developed until it reached its fullest and most definite expression (with abundant, and therefore suspect, circumstantiality) in the works of Juan de Calahorra in the 17th c. and Francisco Jésus María de San Juan del Puerto in the 18th c. (see on all this Tolan, pp. 169 and 263-271)

[6] There is no justification for assigning any level of probability to a visit by Francis to the Holy Places, as to which we know precisely nothing. It seems he was in Syria for eight months, but whether he was sick or busy, or where (if anywhere) he went, the primary sources do not say, and the rest is conjecture (Sabatier, loc. cit.; Tolan, pp.287-289). Ridiculus mus (talk) 19:18, 21 March 2011 (UTC)

Trial-by-fire: take 3[edit]

(2) Now, back to the business already in hand.

[1] We notice first of all that the article entry is self-contradictory. Francis' visit to Sultan al-Kamil is situated in what is said to be an "attempted rapprochement with the Muslim world", but the previous presentation (including especially the alleged challenge to trial-by-fire) is by no means an "attempted rapprochement"; rather it is an attempt to convert the Sultan by the strength of Francis' own convictions, alternatively by a miracle (or coup-de-théâtre, depending on how you view it).

[2] Next, the trial-by-fire challenge, although occupying only two sentences in the wiki-article, bulks disproportionately large in the episode of the visit to the Sultan (almost one third of that paragraph, and constituting the essence of his "missiology") and even larger in the illustrations, since, of the seven depictions of St. Francis in the entire article, two depict a trial-by-fire actually in process, which (lacking as it does any adequate historical support or even some iconographical commentary) is seriously misleading.

[3] Finally, it must be recognised that the entire incident is provocative and derogatory to the Muslim scholars who are presented as cowards in the face of Francis' challenge which they effectively concede ("but [the Muslim scholars] retreated"). This consideration (not least because relations between Christians and Muslims continue to be tense in many parts of the world, marred by mutual suspicion and the burden of history) requires the historicity of the trial-by-fire challenge to be subjected to particular scrutiny. The fact that this probable slur is propagated in a mere two sentences does not excuse it.

[4] I have already given reasons why the currently-cited reference (a brief notice in chapter 8 of Chesterton's "slight sketch" or "little book" as he called it himself) is unacceptable as a reliable source, and that credible authority (Sabatier, still the leading scholarly work) long ago rejected it as an invention by Bonaventure - largely because of the lack of any reference to the challenge in the primary sources but also because of its inherent unlikelihood. See also, Paul Moses, The Saint and the Sultan: The Crusades, Islam, and Francis of Assisi's Mission of Peace, Doubleday Religion (2009) adapted by the author here, who agrees that the challenge is not historical.

[5] Nor is Bonaventure reliable on this episode, which he continued to elaborate. In a sermon preached on 4 October 1267, he went so far as to say that the Sultan secretly converted – a new and inherently improbable embellishment which further diminishes his credibility as an authentic source on an episode which he evidently milked for its spiritual value with scant regard for the facts (a trajectory which finds its nadir of unhistorical pietism in chapter 24 of the extremely popular 14th c. Fioretti compilation). The entry for Bonaventure in The Catholic Encyclopedia (1907) has an appropriately low regard for the historical value of the Legenda major, and the *latest authoritative collection of Franciscan texts similarly downplays its historical reliability: see, e.g., p. 18 of the General Introduction where we read

The results of [Bonaventure's] efforts, however, were those of a theologian in touch with the currents of mystical theology of his time. The virtues of Francis, while described through the anecdotes of Thomas and Julian, are presented in orderly, theological fashion. Both legendae reveal the hand of a teacher entrusted with the responsibility of developing in his students a love of the spiritual life of their founder.

Read also note 20 to the same General Introduction:

. . How well Bonaventure described Francis in his earlier writings is a subject of debate . .

*(Regis J. Armstrong et al., Francis of Assisi: early documents, 3 vols., 1999-2001, New City Press, vol. 1)

[6] Finally, on Bonaventure (who was 2 years old when Francis died and was neither a companion nor even a contemporary of his), we cannot ignore the negative evidence of the Legend of the Three Companions compiled in 1246 by brothers Leo, Rufino and Angelo (intimate contemporaries of the saint) who explained that they had consulted other companions - naming brother Illuminato and five others - and that they declined to repeat the same material others had dealt with, but had, rather, concentrated on supplying what others had omitted. They said nothing about any trial-by-fire challenge, although it is Illuminato whom Bonaventure was the first to name (in 1263) as the friar who had accompanied Francis into the Saracen camp.

[7] Objections to the appositeness, sufficiency, and reliability of the existing sources cited in this part of the article can be extended:- for example, the statement that the Sultan permitted Francis to preach to his subjects as a result of the impression made on him by the trial-by-fire challenge is supported by neither Chesteron nor Sabatier (the sources cited for it in the text); nor is any such claim to be found in da Celano or in any of the primary sources, nor, even, in Bonaventure. It is, I imagine, unnecessary to pursue this theme further.

[8] Clearly, the bulk of the assertions in this part of the article - and the existing source references purporting to support them - are inadequate and even defective from several angles. These considerations, as well as the remarks made under (1) above, indicate that a wholesale re-write of this part of the section is required. What follows in (3) is my proposed re-write; at 400 words, it will be double the length of the existing part. Ridiculus mus (talk) 16:31, 23 March 2011 (UTC)

Trial-by-fire: take 4[edit]

Having gone so far on this route (through ignorance of a better way) I shall finish what I set out to do, but in more economic format. My proposed re-write of the relevant part of the section of the article criticised by me above, can be found at User:Ridiculus mus/Tab 1 where it is open for comment and suggestions for improvement. Apologies for having clogged up this talk page. Ridiculus mus (talk) 18:01, 23 March 2011 (UTC)

I have placed my comments on your page.Marauder40 (talk) 13:42, 24 March 2011 (UTC)
Thanks. My response to them, ditto. Ridiculus mus (talk) 18:28, 24 March 2011 (UTC)
With broad encouragement from Marauder40 (to whom many thanks), I have today replaced the previous text with the text posted on my user page and made some consequential alterations (stylistic and to avoid duplication) to other parts of the section. I have also added "alleged" to the caption under the Giotto illustration. I think some tidying up of "books" and references is called for, but I cannot attend to it for a few months. Also, the second pic illustrating the trial-by-fire (visually low-grade) ought to come out, making space for one depicting a different "episode". The deleted passage is reproduced here for reference:-
In 1219 he went to Egypt, where the crusaders were besieging Damietta. Crossing the lines between the sultan and the Crusaders in Damietta, he was received by the sultan Melek-el-Kamel.[1][2] Francis challenged the Muslim scholars to a test of true religion by fire; but they retreated.[1] When Francis proposed to enter the fire first, under the condition that if he left the fire unharmed, the sultan would have to recognize Christ as the true God, the sultan was so impressed that he allowed Francis to preach to his subjects.[1][3] The sultan was impressed enough to give Francis permission to visit the sacred places in the Holy Land.[4] Francis's visit to Egypt and attempted rapprochement with the Muslim world had far-reaching consequences, long past his own death, since after the fall of the Crusader Kingdom it would be the Franciscans, of all Catholics, who would be allowed to stay on in the Holy Land and be recognized as "Custodians of the Holy Land" on behalf of Christianity. At Acre, the capital of what remained of the Kingdom of Jerusalem, Francis rejoined the Order's brothers Elia and Pietro Cattini, and then most probably visited the holy places in Palestine in 1220.
  1. ^ Cite error: The named reference chest126 was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
  2. ^ "Francis of Assisi in the Holy land". 
  3. ^ "Life of St. Francis of Assisi".  by Paul Sabatier
  4. ^ Cite error: The named reference EBO_Francis was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
Footnote 1 is a reference to Chesterton. Footnote 4 is "EBO Francis". Ridiculus mus (talk) 12:59, 1 April 2011 (UTC)

Cub Scouts?[edit]

I feel as if this entire article is made up. Especially the donating to cub scouts... when were the cub scouts even invented? these are things we need to focus on! — Preceding unsigned comment added by 64.143.189.190 (talk) 01:24, 25 February 2012 (UTC)

Patronage doesn't mean he donates to cub scouts. It means he is the patron saint of cub scouts. I haven't seen a reliable source for the recent addition of this fact. It doesn't mean the rest of the article is "made up".Marauder40 (talk) 02:41, 25 February 2012 (UTC)

Video link deleted[edit]

Hello,

Recently this external link:

was removed.

I believe this link meets all the wiki guidelines and is useful.

It is a link to a play about the life of Saint Francis and Saint Clare of Assisi. Many people can learn more about a subject by watching videos of the material than through just reading. Video can also communicate the information with a deeper feeling of inspiration.

Many people will view a video on a subject, but will not read at length about a subject. So a video helps spread communication in ways that written words cannot.

When this play was viewed live, many parents, who are not Catholic, were deeply moved by it. They remarked that they never knew about these (or any) Catholic Saints and they gained an appreciation they previously did not have. The school Living Wisdom School is non-sectarian and is thus able to reach many parents of different faiths, who would not normally learn about faiths outside their own.

Sorry for this long explanation. If the deleting editor is from the Catholic faith, I do believe having this video linked will help viewers learn about and more importantly appreciate these great Saints.

I'll re-post the link again, but if deleted again I'll let it go.

Thank you, EricBMunro (talk) 19:29, 31 August 2012 (UTC) — Preceding unsigned comment added by EricBMunro (talkcontribs)

The link falls under WP:ELNO and WP:YT. Also I would like to ask if you have the permission of all the parents of the kids in the play to post this on a site clearly with larger access then just a school web-site, and the permission of the copyright holders of the play. My bet is you don't have either, especially the copyright holders of the play used. As it says in WP:YT, most vid sites don't meet requirements for posting in external links.Marauder40 (talk) 19:36, 31 August 2012 (UTC)


I did read both WP:ELNO & WP:TY before linking and did not see an issue myself. The school does have permission from parents. It is a normal procedure for any non-profit, private school to get signed approval for use of pictures, videos, ... that include their children. Yes approval for use of copyright was given. As a board member myself, I discussed it with the School Director. The school is the copyright holder.

Again I think having this link will serve some people, who would not otherwise learn about Saint Francis from just reading. Younger audiences in particular could benefit. During the play, several Catholic private schools sent their students to view the performance. Both the teachers and students from these schools were grateful and enjoyed learning about Saint Francis in this manner. No other freely available video appears on the web about the life of Saint Francis that I could find. So including it here does add to general knowledge and appreciation. With this information, could you reconsider? Thank you, EricBMunro (talk) 02:46, 1 September 2012 (UTC)

I would side with Marauder's initial assessment on this. Since WP:YT puts high standards on youtube and such sites (eg vimeo), it would be better not to include this in the ELs. Moreover, I'm sceptical that the site passes the first criterion of links normally to be avoided at WP:EL. Younger audiences who can't be bothered to read an article here would probably do better at Simple English Wikipedia. carl bunderson (talk) (contributions) 03:08, 1 September 2012 (UTC)

His name was never 'di Pietro'[edit]

I note that, shortly after Pope Francis' election [this user] inserted 'di Pietro' into Francis' baptismal name. It was never there before and there is no source for it. Indeed, the Catholic Encyclopedia says his name was simply Giovanni. Evidently this is a conspiracy theorist attempting to connect the new pope with the Prophecy of the Popes, can the 'di Pietro' be removed? 83.105.111.231 (talk) 11:48, 27 March 2013 (UTC)

His father's name was Pietro. 'Di Pietro' goes with the custom of the time to be know by your father's name in addition to your own name. Directly from the Catholic Encyclopedia "His father, Pietro Bernardone, was a wealthy Assisian cloth merchant." No conspiracy theory.Marauder40 (talk) 12:25, 2 October 2013 (UTC)

Where[edit]

San Francesco, in fact, would have appeared on a carriage of fire that was flying above Rivotorto when in reality he was in Assisi waiting for an audience of the Bishop Guido II....? Hafspajen (talk) 15:50, 30 November 2013 (UTC)