This joint biography illuminates the lives of Francis and Clare and their way of life. It shows how they were bound together by devotion to God as well as the violent objections of their families to religious life. It explores a variety of issues they faced, including the treatment of lepers in medieval society, corruption in the church, and attitudes toward the created world. You will learn how Clares spirituality influenced that of other prominent women, how Francis lost control of his own movement, and why Franciss body was secretly buried after his death.
Jon M. Sweeney is an independent scholar, author, and culture critic with a wide range of interests. He is married and the father of three. His 2012 book, The Pope Who Quit: A True Medieval Tale of Mystery, Death, and Salvation was published by Image/Random House, was a History Book Club selection, and optioned by HBO, Inc. Jon has worked in book publishing for 25 years. For many years, he was the vice president of marketing for Jewish Lights Publishing in Vermont, as well as the co-founder and editor-in-chief of SkyLight Paths Publishing. Since 2004, he has been the editor-in-chief of Paraclete Press in Massachusetts. He is the author of many books about Francis and Clare of Assisi including The Road to Assisi, The St. Francis Prayer Book, Light in the Dark Ages: The Friendship of Francis and Clare of Assisi, and published in April 2013: Francis of Assisi in His Own Words: The Essential Writings. He has lectured across the U.S. on subjects related to Francis, including at Washington National Cathedral. He writes often for the Jesuit weekly, America, and blogs on the Religion page of The Huffington Post. Jon grew up in the evangelical Christian town of Wheaton, IL, made famous by Billy Graham, and is featured in the Wheaton volume of Arcadia Publishings Legendary Locals series. Today he is a Catholic but prays most regularly with his wife, Michal Woll, who is the rabbi of the Ann Arbor Reconstructionist Congregation. They live in Ann Arbor, MI, and have written a book to be published in October 2013 entitled: Mixed-Up Love: Relationships, Family, and Religious Identity in the 21st Century.