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FRANCIS: A SAINT’S WAY

by James Cowan
Sometimes following in Francis’s footsteps can turn out to be an act of divergence. All the facts point to a certain path that should be followed, but still one feels the need to wander off on byways. Medieval gyrovagues understood this well: they spent their life tramping the back roads of Europe in a bid to imprint space upon their brow. Unlike the monk in his monastery, the gyrovague spurned the fixity and discipline of living in one place. He wanted something more -a sense that the world is its monastery, its own temple, its own tripod filled with the flame of distance consuming every mile he traveled.

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