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The Saint and the Sultan: The Crusades, Islam, and Francis of Assisi’s Mission of Peace

Product Description
An intriguing examination of the extraordinary–and little known meeting between St. Francis of Assisi and Islamic leader Sultan Malik Al-Kamil that has strong resonance in today’s divided world.

For many of us, St. Francis of Assisi is known as a poor monk and a lover of animals. However, these images are sadly incomplete, because they ignore an equally important and more challenging aspect of his life — his unwavering commitment to seeking peace. In The Saint and the Sultan, Paul Moses recovers Francis’ s message of peace through the largely forgotten story of his daring mission to end the crusades.

In 1219, as the Fifth Crusade was being fought, Francis crossed enemy lines to gain an audience with Malik al-Kamil, the Sultan of Egypt. The two talked of war and peace and faith and when Francis returned home, he proposed that his Order of the Friars Minor live peaceably among the followers of Islam–a revolutionary call at a moment when Christendom pinned its hopes for converting Muslims on the battlefield.

The Saint and the Sultan captures the lives of St. Francis and Sultan al-Kamil and illuminates the political intrigue and religious fervor of their time. In the process, it reveals a startlingly timely story of interfaith conflict, war, and the search for peace. More than simply a dramatic adventure, though it does not lack for colorful saints and sinners, loyalty and betrayal, and thrilling Crusade narrative, The Saint and the Sultan brings to life an episode of deep relevance for all who seek to find peace between the West and the Islamic world.

The Saint and the Sultan: The Crusades, Islam, and Francis of Assisi’s Mission of Peace


  1. I am a Franciscan friar who follows in the footprints of St. Francis of Assisi. This book was highly recommended to me by one of my Franciscan brothers who himself is a inspirational witness for peace and justice in our world. He is presently serving time in prison for his courageous stand against war and injustice. He told me this book was incredibly inspirational for him during this time of serving his sentence. This Friar is thought by many people today as a living witness of St. Francis as a herald of peace. He is a living example of this message of Francis’ call to peace.
    Rating: 5 / 5

  2. Truly a wonderful book, and timely — an extraordinary example of Christian-Muslim dialogue. It also frees St Francis from his long captivity as the patron saint of bird baths.
    Rating: 5 / 5

  3. In the midst of war, Francis goes unarmed to meet the enemy leader. In a time when Muslims were demonized, Francis has an extended dialogue with the Sultan. But the real story got lost in the midst of politics – the Crusades and heresy allegations. The author does a marvelous job of telling the real story and then showing how and why it was covered up. He also gives a sympathetic – yet realistic – portrait of the Sultan.

    It gave me an ever greater appreciation of St. Francis and his call to peacemaking. Francis wasn’t a plastic saint for birdbaths. He was a real live follower of Christ, not afraid to tell the Crusaders that their effort was in vain and open enough to meet the enemy. A true peacemaker.

    It’s a great book to help us get a better grasp of what Christian-Muslim relations could be.
    Rating: 5 / 5

  4. This book captivated my sense of history and spirituality. Mr. Moses writes clearly, concisely and puts into context the times and forces that created one of the most unique individuals of his age or any age where war and money drive people’s behavior. Moses, in his preface, tells us that perhaps there are lessons for us to learn from this extraordinary man and his quest for peace. Today, as we wage two wars and focus on our economic well-being, Moses’ book provides us with another perspective, another way for us to think and live. This is a must-read.
    Rating: 5 / 5

  5. I visited Assisi while in Italy and found it a very moving experience. To see where St. Francis lived was incredible.Paul’s book tells a story about St. Francis that I had never heard.He writes in a way that kept me fascinated throughout the entire book. Well done!
    Rating: 5 / 5


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