The famous New Yorker magazine has devoted six pages in its recent issue to St Francis, his message and its meaning for us today. 

Commenting on the article, entitled ‘Rich Man, Poor Man: the Radical Visions of St Francis’, Dan Hogan, OFM, writes:

‘One of the highlights of this essay is the way in which it presents Francis as a complex figure who unsettled (and continues to unsettle) both those who wished to make him out to be the champion of their respective agendas including certain iterations of “leftist causes” and those in positions — then and now — of ecclesiastical authority who wish to “neutralize” or tame the “dangerous radicalism of the new Gospel-based theology” introduced by Francis’s life, writings, and religious orders. Francis is both a radical “leftist” and a loyal son of the church. He is also neither of these things.

This is the paradoxical reality of Francis that few have been able to capture adequately in the past. Which seems to explain, in part, his universal appeal and why this medieval mendicant continues to be attractive to religious “conservatives” and “liberals” alike. Who else can claim such a status, especially today?’

This major reflection on St Francis is worth reading. Check out: New Yorker.