In a little town in Italy, nearly eight hundred years ago, Francis of Assisi renounced everything he owned to follow Christ with passionate and single-minded abandon. Even today, centuries later, this simple saint draws people around the world to Francis’ story of living in humility, love, and joy. Here in Following Francis, Susan Pitchford tells her own story of the Franciscan life, as a member of the Third Order, founded by Francis himself so that people from all walks of life can follow the saint’s ideal, without leaving their homes or their occupations. Pitchford learned that the Franciscan tradition isn’t the exclusive possession of monks cloistered in a monastery, but a spiritual path for ordinary people living in the twenty-first century. Organized around the Rule of St. Francis, this book – a wonderful resource for private devotion or group study – shows readers what it means to live out the Christian life with a Franciscan accent.
"Not one more book about Francis!? Yes, but this one with breadth and depth and humor and even practicality. You will not be bored or disappointed!" --Friar Richard Rohr, O.F.M., Center for Action and Contemplation, Albuquerque, New Mexico
"Very highly recommended reading for students of St. Francis of Assisi...a superbly organized and presented introduction to Franciscan spirituality as experienced by lay people who are part of the Franciscan 'Third Order'. Providing readers with practical guidelines drawn from the life of St. Francis and from third-order Franciscans, "Following Francis" invites Christian readers to participate in the passion and joy that so characterized the manner and example in which Francis of Assisi followed the teachings and example of Jesus."--The Midwest Book Review, October 2006.
"It's the best introduction available to the Third Order. Anyone with an interest in Francis and religious life will find it worthwhile.--The Living Church, August 27, 2006.
"The book is organized around the nine elements of the Franciscan Rule. Each chapter concludes with questions for discussion, ideas for practical steps to take and a brief prayer. She concludes with a brief biography of St. Francis, extensive endnotes including a bibliography and Francis's famous Canticle of the Creatures. Readers will appreciate having it included here.--Episcopal Life, February 2007