I started writing about fifteen years ago, but it has only been in the past two in which my writing has begun to bear fruit. My new book on St. Clare was just released in July; thanks to the marketing people at TAN Books, the launch included a flurry of radio and print interviews. I wrote it as a follow-up companion book to my Francis biography, published a year earlier. Earlier this year, after a chance encounter with the guardian of San Damiano (who is also the director of Edizioni Porziunola), a Franciscan publishing house based in Assisi, they purchased the rights and Katia and I spent the beginning of the year translating it into Italian. It should be on the shelves in Italy in late winter/early spring. Lastly, sales in the English edition were good and a second print edition will be forthcoming (in paperback making it more economical). To those who have purchased my books, thank you. (And to those of you who have not, they are available on Amazon!)
I even sent Pope Francis a copy of each book. Will he read them???
(BTW, for those who prefer to stay closer to Assisi, I’ve begun creating an easier walking itinerary. “Franciscan Walks” will be a series of easy to light self-guided walks around places associated with Franciscan events and spirituality in Assisi and Umbria. Stay tuned for more!)
When they came in September, I took Claremarie with me and joined them in Madrid and Toledo. Like Italy, both Spain and Portugal are rich in history, culture and spirituality. Fatima, in particular, is one of those few and extraordinary places in the world.
I worked with her during four conferences in southern Italy near Benevento and all were packed to capacity. It was a singular joy getting to know Gianna who is a rare witness on many levels.
In fact, this Advent season has taken on extra meaning for Katia and I. In just a few days, on December 27, Katia will give birth to our third child.
Living here in Loreto, near the Holy House of Mary in which the “Word became flesh,” this Advent has truly been a season of “waiting and joyful expectation.” Please remember us in prayer on December 27, the feast of St. John.
Finally, Katia and I would like to wish everyone a Merry Christmas: to all who have been with us on a pilgrimage; to those who are planning on coming; and to those who follow and support what we are doing. We truly do hope your Christmas season is full of joy and thanksgiving. Emmanuel is with us… God is truly with us!