Augustine Thompson

The Meaning of Father Damien

O God, the cleanest offering Of tainted earth below, Unblushing to thy feet we bring— “A leper white as snow!” In September of 1881, while King Kalākaua of Hawaii was away on his world tour, his regent (and sister) Princess Liliʻuokalani visited the leper colony of Kalaupapa on the island of Molokai. Its administrator was [...]

Getting to Know the Real St. Francis

Franciscan peace is not something saccharine. Hardly! That is not the real Saint Francis! Nor is it a kind of pantheistic harmony with forces of the cosmos. That is not Franciscan either! It is not Franciscan, but a notion that some people have invented! These words were not articulated by a representative of the Texas [...]

Without Gloss: Francis of Assisi and Western Catholicism

Editor's note: The following essay was written for the "St. Francis of Assisi and the Western Tradition" conference sponsored by the Thomistic Institute and delivered at the NYU Catholic Center on April 25, 2014. I want to start with a simple statement of fact. All Christian life is a paradox. What I mean is this. [...]

The Francis We Never Knew: Surprising Revelations About the Man From Assisi

It would be a pardonable offense were one to greet the prospect of yet another book on St. Francis with a yawn. But in the case of Augustine Thompson’s Francis of Assisi: A New Biography (Cornell, 2012), it would be a mistake. All of us know something about St. Francis, but few of us know [...]

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