St. Francis of Assisi is know to many as a lover of animals and a caretaker of creation, but unfortunately little else. One of the most overlooked moments in Francis' life however, was his encounter with an Islamic Sultan during the fifth Crusade. In 1219, Francis and his brothers crossed into Egypt in order to gain an audience with the Sultan Malik Al-Kamil. Impressed by his bravery, Al-Kamil allowed Francis to preach the message of Christ to his Muslim subjects. Thereafter, Francis and the Sultan discussed issues of war, peace, faith and Christ as Lord over all. When Francis and his brothers returned home, he proposed that his Order of the Friars live peaceably in the Muslim territories among the followers of Islam. This event was a revolutionary call at a moment when Western Christendom had staked every hope for converting Muslim soldiers on the battlefield. Paul Moses's Saint and the Sultan illuminates this long-forgotten moment in the life of St. Francis and demonstrates the power of the Gospel to transform lives.
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