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"
"Established in 1973, the original resort included a small chapel and 13 rustic cottages. Twenty-five years later, the hermitage was entrusted to the Franciscan friars for use as a friary, where young men reside during their first year of training to become friars. Cabins at the resort continued to be provided for solitary retreat, and in 2006, a new 18-room friary and chapel was constructed."
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"This lovely little image of St. Francis of Assisi is a detail from a crucifix painted in about 1320 by an Italian artist known as the Master of Figline. It hangs above the altar of the great Franciscan church of Santa Croce in Florence, where it was lovingly restored thanks to Friends of Florence, a little-known American organization led by the impressively named Contessa Simonetta Brandolini d'Adda. "
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"A fresco depicting the Virgin Mary fainting at the cross has reportedly suffered colour changes, particularly to the contrast of light and dark. Martini’s 14th-century saints appear flattened and lacking in detail, while the chapel’s central fresco has lost its top coat.
But Fusetti hit back at the accusations, saying the chapel was open to the public and a series of culture ministers had visited the site without criticism."
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