The book, "The Saint and the Sultan: the Crusades, Islam and Francis of Assisi’s Mission of Peace examines a little known encounter between St. Francis of Assisi and Sultan Malik al-Kamil of Egypt during the Crusades.In 1219, in the midst of disastrous Fifth Crusade, Francis crossed enemy lines to gain an audience with al-Kamil, the sultan of Egypt and a nephew of the great Muslim warrior Saladin, in his camp on the banks of the Nile. Francis, who opposed the warfare, hoped to bring about peace by converting the sultan to Christianity. He didn’t succeed, but came away from the peaceful encounter with revolutionary ideas that called for Christians to live harmoniously with Muslims....
If the greatest Christian saint since the time of the apostles had opposed the Crusade and peacefully approached Muslims at a time when they were supposed to be mortal enemies, that action can inspire and instruct us today. So should the fact that al-Kamil, a great sultan of Egypt and a nephew of Saladin, was so tolerant of Christians that he allowed one of them to preach to him in the midst of a Crusade. The story of Francis of Assisi and Sultan Malik al-Kamil says there is a better way than resentment, suspicion and warfare. It opens the door to respect, trust and peace.
It needs to be told anew.
- Paul Moses"
"Sometime in the 16th century, as Franciscan friars toiled in the fields of Italy, a group of children ran after them chanting “cappuccino, cappuccino!” What they were referring to were the large hoods worn by friars of one branch of the Franciscan order to keep rain and the hot Italian sun off their necks.
It wasn’t long before those Franciscans became known, worldwide, as Capuchins. And one day we would all call that delicious coffee drink that is the color of their hoods cappuccino.
It is no surprise that there are Franciscan churches, monasteries and friars in the Holy Land – quite a few of them in Jerusalem. What is unusual, however, is the location of the Capuchin monastery, for it stands smack in the middle of Talbieh, one of the city’s most exclusive neighborhoods."
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