Chapter

St. Francis and Lady Poverty

Kenneth Baxter Wolf

in The Poverty of Riches

Published in print March 2003 | ISBN: 9780195158083
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780199834877 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/0195158083.003.0005

Series: Oxford Studies in Historical Theology

 St. Francis and Lady Poverty

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Francis's fascination with poverty as a spiritual discipline is nowhere better illustrated than in the allegory, the Sacred Commerce of St. Francis and Lady Poverty, which appears to have been written about a decade after the saint's death. In the Sacred Commerce, Francis is depicted as a suitor to Lady Poverty, the personification of the perfect poverty that Francis spent his life pursuing. Borrowing tropes from the biblical books of the Song of Songs, Proverbs, and Wisdom, as well as from chivalric romance, the author used the courtship of Francis and Lady Poverty as a way of underscoring the threats posed to religious orders like the Franciscans by the enticements of Lady Poverty's rival, Greed.

Keywords: allegory; chivalric romance; Greed; Lady Poverty; Sacred Commerce of St. Francis and Lady Poverty; Song of Songs

Chapter.  3747 words. 

Subjects: Christianity

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