By AUGUSTINE THOMPSON

Um dos santos mais populares da religião católica, São Francisco de Assis (c. 1181-1226) é lembrado pela sua dedicação à pobreza, o amor pelos animais e a natureza, e o desejo de seguir os ensinamentos e o exemplo de Cristo. Durante a sua vida e após sua morte, os seus seguidores deram origem a inúmeras narrativas, histórias e relatos sobre o santo, que, por sua vez, levaram à criação da lenda. Nesta nova biografia, Augustine Thompson, baseando-se em novas fontes históricas, separa, pela primeira vez, o homem da lenda. O resultado é um retrato complexo e fidedigno tanto do homem como do santo. Francisco surge como um filho da burguesia italiana do século XIII, que, quando confrontado com crises existenciais inesperadas, toma decisões que desafiaram a sociedade da altura. Passou a vida a combater desafios inesperados e para os quais não estava preparado. Pela primeira vez, S. Francisco de Assis surge como um ser humano bem mais complexo e conflituoso do que o santo que as biografias anteriores retrataram.

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