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Helpful Resources for your Discernment 

Because people’s exposure to Francis and interest are very different, it is hard to make suggestions that will meet your interests. Here is a list of books, one web page and cd’s that many have found helpful. Many other good sources are available.

You Tube Videos


Moving Forward in Hope: Perspectives from Newer Members, part 1 (3:23). New members of Religious communities talk about why they chose to enter their religious communities.


Moving Forward in Hope: Perspectives from newer members, part 2 (2:37)


Pope Francis' challenge to the Franciscans (2:25) Interview with Mike Perry, OFM; Minister General of the Franciscan, Rome


Reluctant Saint - Francis of Assisi (55:50)


Spirituality of Francis and Clare of Assisi by Bill Short, OFM (1:17:16)


Dating God: Intimacy, Prayer, and Franciscan Spirituality (40:45) by Dan Horan, OFM


Francis: the Journey and the Dream

by Maury Bodo, OFM

One of the most influential saints' books, with over 200,000 copies sold, Francis: The Journey and the Dream continues to inspire people of all ages with its lyrical prose and depth of love for the Poor Man of Assisi. The book includes a reader's guide for book clubs and discussion groups, and a list of Fr. Bodo's favorite Franciscan resources, culled over three decades of research on Francis and his followers.

Reluctant Saint, the life of St. Francis of Assisi

by Donald Spoto

Spoto strips away the legends from the life of Francis of Assisi to reveal the true story of a man who has too often been obscured by pious iconography. Drawing on unprecedented access to unexplored archives, plus Francis's own letters, Spoto places Francis within the context of the multifaceted ecclesiastical, political, and social forces of medieval Italy, casting new light on Francis and showing how his emphasis on charity as the heart of the Gospel's message helped him pioneer a new social movement. This nuanced portrait reveals the multifaceted character of a man who can genuinely be said to have changed the course of history.

Poverty and Joy: The Franciscan Tradition

by Bill Short, OFM

William Short focuses first on the importance of the order's founders, Saint Francis and Saint Clare of Assisi, offering an historical introduction. He then reflects on key themes: the Incarnation, poverty as a way to God, suffering and healing, and creation--humanity and nature in harmony. He introduces as well key figures in the Order: Bonaventure, Angela of Foligno, and John Duns Scotus, who have helped shape the Franciscan vision and brought it to life through the ages.

Francis of Assisi: Performing the Gospel Life

by Lawrence Cunningham

Cunningham reflects on Francis in the tradition of Thomas of Celano and St Bonaventure. He begins with Francis early life in Assisi, moves to attracting companions, going with them to Rome to have the Pope approve the Rule, the stigmata, the love of creation, and ends with his final years.

The Gospel Life of Francis of Assisi Today by Thaddee Matura, OFM

Matura, a scripture scholar, has studied Francis’ writings. He reflects on Francis call to faith. He takes up how Francis reads the Word of God, how the Franciscan Order evolved out of Francis’ seeking of Christ. Matura then reflects on how Franciscans may live the adventure and values of Francis today in following Christ. Francis gave us a new style of evangelical life that continues to be dynamic and alive today.

Francis of Assisi Life & Afterlife of a Medieval Saint by Andre Vauchez and Translated by  Michael Cusato OFM

This is the first serious biography since Englebert, Brady, and Brown in 1965. It is an outstanding contribution to our understanding of who Francis was and what he valued in this life.


The book is divided into two parts. First part is the historical study of Francis’ life. The second part deals with how the theologians of the time and hagiographers interpreted Francis’ saintliness. This is definitely beyond the romantic. Most friars would find this as an important and helpful study of Francis’ life “and after life” as a saint.

Apps for phone and/or pads:


IBreviary, is a portable Breviary and Missal Provides downloadable texts for Liturgy of the Hours, Daily Readings, Prayers and Rites. Also has the possibility of audio backup that gives a sense that one is praying with the whole church. (FREE)

Pray as You Go offers a guided meditation based on one of the reads of the day. Not a 'Thought for the Day', but a framework for your own prayer. Lasting between ten and thirteen minutes, it combines music, scripture and some questions for reflection.  Goals: (1) become more aware of God's presence in your life, (2) listen to and reflects on God's word, and (3) Grow in your relationship with God. This apt also offers guided mediations and guided examine prayer. (Based in the Ignition Tradition-FREE)

Give us this Day the apt is based on the monthly publication of the same name published by Liturgical Press. The apt and publication offers a short morning and evening prayer, the readings for the day, a one page life a “saint” and a reflection on readings.

Insight Timer: Home to more than 1,200,000 meditators. The Timer can be set to begin, end and call one back to center through a number of different bells tones. Great for those who do centering prayer and offers a variety of guided meditations. (FREE and Pay versions)

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