Tuesday, October 08, 2002

More on St. Francis of Assisi.
Alifa Saadya, from the Vidal Sassoon International Center for the Study of Antisemitism, Hebrew University of Jerusalem, was kind enough to update us:

Apparently the Prayer of St. Francis is probably not actually by
him, so some Catholic sources say that it's "in the spirit of St.
Francis." I once read a book about the role of the clergy in the
town of Assisi, and what is really remarkable is that many of the
townspeople also took part in rescue activities. One printer and his
son made some of the best false passports and documents that you can
now see at Yad Vashem. Students in Assisi went to the post office
(which also provided telephone service) and looked up names from the
directories of cities that were at that time occupied by the Allies
in order to use them on the false documents (names from those places
would have been harder for an official to check in the chaos of
war). For some reason, that little detail about finding names in the
directory has always stayed with me. Sometimes the most unobtrusive,
simple things can be lifesaving.

St. Francis did write other hymns and prayers, but today, most
scholars think the popular Prayer was actually written by someone
else.

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