“The Treasure of Francis”: the first book by the Minister General

TS Edizioni is publishing, also in e-book format, Il Tesoro di Francesco (The Treasure of Francis), a collection of texts by Br Massimo Fusarelli ofm, elected in July 2021 Minister General of the Friars Minor. It consists of more than twenty speeches composed in the last year, on various occasions, since the beginning of his new service. It refers to Francis of Assisi and the Franciscan vision of the world in many different ways. This theme is central to the ministry of those at the head of the Order of Friars Minor.

Br Cesare Vaiani, ofm, writes in the Preface: “What is striking in these texts is the basic approach that combines faith and being in the world, with a non-private vision of faith and a believing vision of the world. What emerges is a personal experience, grasped with lucidity and offered humbly to the brothers as an indication not rooted in theory but in the reality of experience. This testimony makes a convincing reading of these texts, which combine doctrine and critical clarity with an embodied faith and, why not, with a touch of passion. This intersection between faith and the world, theory and praxis, mind and heart, distinguishes the Christian spiritual experience, which finds its essential reference in the sacred humanity of the Word made flesh”.

Br Fusarelli’s spiritual reflections also refer to precise circumstances, which are often appropriately indicated in a brief note at the beginning of the texts. The link to specific contexts and situations adds the flavour of lived life without preventing them from speaking to every reader. This link with life also emerges in the testimonial character that marks many of these texts because there are significant elements about the Saint of Assisi, but also indicative traces of those who speak about him. It is precisely this way of proposing a subject in the Christian home that takes the name of testimony and is typical of the proclamation of the Gospel. When I speak of Christ,” the Minister General seems to want to say, “I allow something to emerge about myself. This is because of the fire and passion with which I speak of him, and when I speak of myself, I cannot avoid referring to Christ because of the central place he occupies in my life.

In October 2021, Br Massimo Fusarelli went to Jerusalem as a pilgrim, choosing the Holy Land as his first destination in his new role as Minister General. His reflections at the Cenacle and the Holy Sepulchre at the conclusion of the book highlight the profound significance that the Custody has for the whole Order of Friars Minor.