The Little Flowers of St. Francis (Italian Fioretti di San Francesco) is a body of work divided into 53 short chapters, on the life of Saint Francis of Assisi which was composed at the end of the 14th century. The book has been the most popular account of Saint Francis' life and relates many colorful anecdotes, miracles and pious examples from the lives of Francis and his followers (such as Saint Juniper). The text was the inspiration for the Roberto Rossellini’s 1950 film Francesco, giullare di Dio (“Francis, God’s Jester”) which was co-written by Federico Fellini.
A new introduction by Madeleine L'Engle highlights this inspirational volume, which combines the story of St. Francis of Assisi and his adoption of a life of poverty and humility, with accounts of miracles attributed to the saint. Reprint. 17,500 first printing.
The Little Flowers is a traditional collection of tales of St. Francis and the early Franciscans. The legend of St. Francis (b. 1181, d. 1226), the patron saint of animals, birds, and the environment, greatly expanded as time went by, and accumulated in this work. --Sacred Texts
The Little Flowers of St. Francis (Italian Fioretti di San Francesco) is a florilegium (excerpts of his body of work), divided into 53 short chapters, on the life of Saint Francis of Assisi which was composed at the end of the 14th century. The anonymous Italian text, almost certainly by a Tuscan author, is a version of the Latin Actus beati Francisci et sociorum eius, of which the earliest extant manuscript is one of 1390 AD. Luke Wadding ascribes the text to Fra. Ugolino da Santa Maria, whose name occurs three times in the Actus.Written a century and a half after the death of Francis of Assisi, the text is not regarded as an important primary source for the saint's biography. However, it has been the most popular account of his life and relates many colourful anecdotes, miracles and pious examples from the lives of Francis and his followers (such as Saint Juniper). These poetic stories shed much light upon the genesis and development of the following of Saint Francis. Indeed, some stories contained in the Fioretti can be found in much earlier works; for example, Saint Francis preaching to the birds was described by Fra. Masseo, and written of by the Englishman Roger of Wendover, in 1236.The text was the inspiration for the Roberto Rossellini's 1950 film Francesco, giullare di Dio (“Francis, God's Jester”) which was co-written by Federico Fellini. It was also used as a source for the libretto of Olivier Messiaen's opera Saint-François d'Assise.
These three works form the chief sources of the saint's life and the beginnings of the Franciscan Order which he founded in 1212. Born at Assisi in 1182, St Francis embraced a life of holy poverty after a gay and sometimes extravagant youth. At the age of twenty-two he fought with great spirit and was taken prisoner in a petty feud between the town of Assisi and Perugia. During his captivity he reflected on his former mode of life, but attempted to take up arms once more on his recovery. However, a second illness intervened, and after a period in which wordly pleasure and spiritual counsels sought mastery and he finally determined to dedicate his life and work to God. Through pilgrimage, devotion, example and simple teaching he became one of the great Christian reformers. 'Whatever accretions of legendary material', says Fr McKay in his Introduction, 'have crept in here and there to heighten the colours of St Francis's portrait, they are undoubtedly in keeping with the total impressions which St. Francis made upon the world of his day.' Moreover St Francis was the very opposite of a sour Puritan: we are told he was the 'most joyous of saints, and would have no sad, long faces about him, and always rebuked any friar that was gloomy or melancholy.' He wanted his friars to be joculatores Dei ('the minstrels of God'). The Little Flowers is translated from the 'Fioretti', an Italian translation of a Latin original of which the earliest extant manuscript is one of 1390. It is a narration of miracle and hymn connected with the saint and his friars. The Mirror of Perfection is based on documents and memoirs left by Friar Leo, St Francis's favourite disciple, and was completed about 1318. St Bonaventure wrote the Life of St Francis c. 1260, intending it to stand as an authoritative Life and to supersede the numerous fragmentary biographies then in circulation.
St. Francis said, "Jesus wants you to love him most of all." Children will be delighted by this wonderfully illustrated book. Each of the twenty-four short stories tells of an event in the beloved saint's life. Along the way, children will learn about virtue, the Faith, and love of God and neighbor. Each story includes a prayer written for children, asking God to help them imitate St. Francis and grow in their own faith.
Unlike some other reproductions of classic texts (1) We have not used OCR(Optical Character Recognition), as this leads to bad quality books with introduced typos. (2) In books where there are images such as portraits, maps, sketches etc We have endeavoured to keep the quality of these images, so they represent accurately the original artefact. Although occasionally there may be certain imperfections with these old texts, we feel they deserve to be made available for future generations to enjoy.