Francis The Journey and the Dream by Murray Bodo, OFM

Written 50 years ago, Murry Bodo’s life of Francis has inspired countless readers with his poetic vision of Francis’s life.  Starting with the historical record, Bodo deep understanding of Francis breathes life in the stories about Francis.   Here is an example.

The joy of tramping the roads in spring, the wind blowing in your face, and the larks showing off overhead. Francis always felt like running and shouting on a warm day in spring, especially if he had just come from the mountain where it was perpetually cold and wet. Having the road all to yourself was part of the fun of being free, part of the reward for the heartache of separation from the comfortable society you had left behind. You hadn’t a care in the world and nature was a garden just for you to romp in”,  Bodo, Murray. Francis: The Journey and the Dream (p. 39). St. Anthony Messenger Press. Kindle Edition.

Book is available in many print editions, eBooks, and on audio.   

The Complete Francis of Assisi: His Life, The Complete Writings, and The Little Flowers (Paraclete Giants)  by Jon M. Sweeney  

This is part of the Paraclete Giants series of scholarly introductions to the great Christian spiritual writers. This edition includes the complete "Road to Assisi" (Paul Sabatier's biography of the saint), the complete "Francis in His Own Word", and "The Little Flowers". This modern translation combines readability and scholarship.

O most high, almighty, good Lord God,
to you belong praise, glory, honor, and all blessing!
Praised be my Lord God with all Your creatures,
and especially our Brother Sun,
who brings us the day and who brings us the light.
Fair is he and shines with a very great splendor:
O Lord, he signifies You to us!
Praised be my Lord for our Brother Wind,
and for air and cloud, calms and all weather
through which You uphold life in all creatures.
Praised be my Lord for our Sister Water,
who is very useful to us and humble and precious and clean.

The book is available in both print and eBook versions.

The Writings of St. Francis of Assisi Hardcover – May 26, 2017 by St. Francis of Assisi (Author), Father Pascal Robinson (Translator)

This inexpensive edition of Saint Francis’s works uses the translations of Father Robinson.  Produced in the early 20th Century, this translation is praised for its accuracy.   However, modern readers may be uncomfortable with the archaic language.

Praise, glory and honor and benediction all, are Thine.
To Thee alone do they belong, most High,
And there is no man fit to mention Thee.
Praise be to Thee, my Lord, with all Thy creatures,
Especially to my worshipful brother sun,
The which lights up the day, and through him dost Thou brightness give;
And beautiful is he and radiant with splendor great;
Of Thee, most High, signification gives.
Praised be my Lord, for sister moon and for the stars,
In heaven Thou hast formed them clear and precious and fair.
Praised be my Lord for brother wind
And for the air and clouds and fair and every kind of weather,
By the which Thou givest to Thy creatures nourishment.
Praised be my Lord for sister water,
The which is greatly helpful and humble and precious and pure.

The book is available in both print and eBook versions.  .  There are free versions of the Robinson translation on  the Internet Archive and other sources

Franciscan Field Guide: People, Places, Practices, and Prayers
by Rosemary Stets OSF 

Get ready to discover Franciscan flora and fauna! This handy reference book provides a complete overview of the history, major figures and locations, and most influential texts of the Franciscan tradition. From Pica Bernardone to the “Prayer to the Trinity,” Sister Rosemary Stets has compiled an at-your-fingertips guide to the people, places, practices, and prayers that comprise the Franciscan tradition.

"In the last ten years we have experienced rapid changes in our world, Church, society, politics, and cultural realities. But the human heart does not change in its fundamental longing for peace, kindness, justice, friendship, and heroes who inspire us to seek the good and to love and serve God in one another. St. Francis and St. Clare of Assisi have universally touched hearts by always breathing new life into these dreams in every age."

The book is available in both print and eBook versions.

Light of Assisi: The Story of Saint Clare
by Margaret Carney OSF 

For centuries St. Clare of Assisi has been a lesser-known saint simply because she was overshadowed by the giant that is St. Francis. This biography not only tells the story of their intertwined lives, but more importantly highlights the extraordinary contributions Clare made to the Franciscan world following Francis’s death. This book is her story from birth until death in 1253.

"Assisi is a postage stamp of a town. It sits on a plateau wedged into the side of Mount Subasio, the mountain that towers over the valley of Spoleto. At dawn and eventide its pale stone walls shimmer, paying a grateful homage of light and warmth to the sun. It is, in the words of the poet Alfred Noyes, “the mountain’s castled crown.” It was here that a child, Chiara, was born to a noble family in 1193 or 1194. Her father was Favarone di Offreducio. Her mother’s name was Ortulana. The newest member of a powerful clan, her complete “title” would require recognition of three generations: Chiara di Favarone di Offreducio di Bernardino. While praying for a safe delivery, Ortulana heard a Voice assuring her that this child was destined to be a great light. In translation, this name by which she would be known in centuries to come was Clare. Today we know her as St. Clare of Assisi."

The book is available in both print and eBook versions.

St. Francis of Assisi: A Biography 
by Omer Englebert

Father Englebert’s biography seeks to understand Francis a spiritual guide and as a person of his times. Modern readers will enjoy his combination of deep spiritual insight along with his historical rigor.  

“At every step in the life of Saint Francis, we shall be reminded of the songs of chivalry, of the troubadours, and even of the jongleurs. Like Ronald of Montauban, the cousin of the brave Roland, we will see him building churches to atone for past sins. Like King Arthur we will he will assemble his Knights of the round table at the Chapter of Pentecost. He will compose music and verse and will praise the Lord in song while pretending to accompany himself on the viol. We shall hear him make use of phrases from the poetry of chivalry to express his innermost being and draw men to him.”

The book is available in both print and eBook versions.