Today a very special package arrived in the mail, made even more exciting by the fact that I thought it would be a few more days before these particular goodies would arrive. Enclosed in the unassuming Amazon packaging were two books that come highly recommended – The Pilgrim’s Guide to the Camino de Santiago, by John Brierley, and Francis of Assisi: The life and afterlife of a medieval saint, by Andre Vauchez.
Almost every modern pilgrim’s account that I’ve read includes reference to Brierley’s guide, which seems to be the gold standard in Camino guidebooks for English-speakers. Likewise, though there are many, many biographies of St. Francis of Assisi, Vauchez’s 2012 work is highly acclaimed. The Englewood Review of Books says of Francis of Assisi, “One comes away from [this] book not only with a new understanding of Francis, but also with a renewed appreciation for the relationship between sanctity and authentic humanity.” I sincerely hope that this applies in my case.