Two Lives Of St Francis Analysis

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Thomas’ primary purpose for writing the Two Lives of St Francis was to lay out a hierarchical model of responses to a saint. Throughout these excerpts, Thomas described the responses of people from different roles and social classes to Francis. His description of certain actions created a model for the ideal interactions with a saint. The most important parts of this model were laid out in Thomas’ descriptions of Francis’ interactions with church officials, varying social classes of laypeople, and the natural world. Thomas’ description of Francis’ interactions with church officials largely demonstrated an expectation of receptivity and support. The priest at St. Damien was skeptical of Francis’ conversion while allowing Francis to stay in …show more content…
He did not expect everyone to respond the same and created a hierarchical system of response. He expected church officials to be supportive and receptive to the saint and to help him accomplish his goals. The only ones in this class he described as capable of having reservations are those that are not able to recognize the saint’s divine inspiration (56) or those with papal authority (58). Upper-class members of society, even those not involved in the church, were expected to recognize and support the saint and to listen to their teachings (59). This may have included obedience, but it is unclear based on these excerpts whether or not Thomas would have expected it. The more common people were expected to be obedient, receptive, supportive, and to listen to his teachings (60 – 62). They were expected to recognize his divine authority as demonstrated by his control over the natural world and to act accordingly. Thomas’ model allowed these people to praise the saint and to seek him out for healing (60 – 62). Overall, Thomas’ hagiography of St Francis was able to demonstrate Francis’ holiness while serving his larger goal of laying out the model responses to a

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