2 February 2022
Francis of Assisi is a great religious, mythological, historical and artistic figure. His saintly aureole remains unsurpassed for he has become a symbol. Over the centuries he has transcended geography and even gone beyond Christianity, conquering a large part of the world. He has become a giant, a countlessly depicted, literarised, mythicised superman, an angel, almost a God.
Yet behind the figure of the great Francis of Assisi there is a mere-man by the name Francis, living in ancient times. He viewed the world and himself in a new way and also began to live in a new way. He saw beyond the material, beyond ambition, beyond greed and lust. He lived by such example himself. (He was, most importantly, a constant practitioner: he demanded the most of himself.) He suffered, fighting his demons and persisting in his faith. He struggled with himself, not with others. He took it upon himself, not blaming others. He accepted everyone and everything, did not divide and he did not judge. He was aware that every human being is unique and inimitable. However, we are also inextricably linked to each other and connected to nature (we could call him “the first ecologist”). All lives, all breathes, all is one.
This very human element will be the crucial point of our performance exposing all those moments of humaneness so familiar to all of us (except that Francis was perhaps ready to go further and deeper). Therefore, we focus on demystified, humanised Francis. Francis, who, as G. K. Chesteron states, “loved not humaneness (in general) but the human being (each one individually); likewise he loved not Christianity, but Christ”.
Francis did not want power and authority, but power and authority were abused on his behalf. He did not want to change the world, but he offered the way of changing oneself and the attitude towards others.
He proclaimed a new madness. And his new madness is – love.