Pope Innocent III and His Times

The Life and Times of Pope Innocent III
Joseph Clayton
With a New Introduction by Phillip Campbell

ISBN-13: 978-1535231619
ISBN-10: 1535231610



Pope Innocent III was the most energetic and iconic Pope of the Middle ages. To say Innocent III epitomizes the character of the age is no overstatement. He is frequently cited in medieval textbooks as the exemplification of a powerful papacy at the height of its temporal influence. His teachings on the relation between the sacerdotium and imperium summarize the best of the medieval tradition, often referred to as the Two Sword theory (cf. Luke 22:38), where the two swords held by St. Peter represent the temporal and spiritual authority, both of which are in the keeping of the Church – though one is delegated to the state. In his actions in relation to the great figures of his time, Pope Innocent III is the dominant figure, determining the direction of Christendom by his assent or dissent. He received England as a feudal fief from King John, bartered with the patrimony of the Hohenstaufen emperors to strengthen the power of the Church, summoned crusades, chartered the University of Paris, gave the world the Franciscan Order, and called the greatest ecumenical council of the Middle Ages. His very life and thought characterized the 13th century.

Author Joseph Clayton attempts to paint the picture of the times and the man in a very easy to read yet thorough narrative, succinctly relating the issues of the day and Innocent’s importance in them.

This work is a reprint, not a facsimile, and has been re-typset to adhere closely to the original, with many of the beautiful layout effects that you have come to expect from Mediatrix Press.

The Life of St. Francis of Assisi

life_of_st.francis_largeThe Life of St. Francis of Assisi
by Candide Chalippe, OFM
594 Pages
ISBN-13: 978-0692243374


The Life of St. Francis, by the French Franciscan Candide Chalippe (circa 1727) is now back in print, unabridged, with footnotes in pictures!

Previously we had announced that the work would have an art commentary in the appendix. After some sound advice from other people, I’m turning that into its own book. At nearly 600 pages, the work should really stand for itself.

So I added more pictures to the book instead. I also took the time to translate some of the Italian quotes it gives that were not previously translated. All in all, this is a beautiful book.

Now, there is another version of this which was put out by a Franciscan in 2005. I’m going to tell you why my version is better, and I’m not just tooting my own horn.

1) The cover. My cover is just better. I take time to research public domain images so that I can use them free of copyright, and make them the best they can be.

2) Layout. I took time to professionally lay this out with headers, justified text, etc. I don’t want to cast opprobrium on the other work, but the look and readability is just much better.

3) The other edition, in spite of its size, has redacted Chalippe’s original, and in many unfortunate ways. One is he removed all the footnotes. After dealing with massive numbers of footnotes in an OCR, I can tell you it is a headache. But they are what makes this work a true work of history, constantly leading one back to the sources he is using, as well as giving excellent commentary on the faith, doctrine, the sacraments, and the examples of the Fathers.  This is why I included them.

This is one of the best books I have read in English, not just with respect to St. Francis, but spiritually, theologically and historically it was an awesome work. In spite of all the miracles it relates, it also humanizes St. Francis in many ways, by depicting the outstanding virtues he practiced, humility, sacrifice, mortification and charity. There is a reason why St. Francis is one of the greatest Saints in the history of the Church. You won’t regret this!

As the Morning Star: The Life of St. Dominic

as_morning_star2As the Morning Star:
The Life of St. Dominic
by Jerome Wilms, O.P.

ISBN-13: 978-1499367447
110 pages


$3.00 Kindle Purchase

That after seven hundred years his life is still the subject of historians’ endeavors is a clear proof of the deep significance of St. Dominic’s personality for his Order, for the clergy, and the entire Church. He lived in the late Middle Ages, when the Chair of Peter was occupied by popes like Innocent III, whose prudence and firmness were active factors in shaping Europe’s history. The spirit of faith still had at least a little influence in political matters, and enthusiasm for the reclaiming of the Holy Land swayed men’s hearts. However, there were also ominous signs that a religious retrogression had begun. Heretics were stirring up trouble in different localities. Monastic discipline had become relaxed. Spiritual ministrations were being neglected, because the clergy were either entangled in worldly matters or had succumbed to the easy life made available to them by their rich revenues. The ancient landed property of the Church excited the greed of the pious donors’ less devout offspring. Revolutionary ideas, hostile to the faith, were being propagated and put into practice, and well-disposed individuals were too ignorant of religious principles to steer themselves out of this dangerous current.
By means of General Councils and Diocesan Synods, the Church had issued strict moral decrees for priests and religious concerning their pastoral duties and especially the preaching of the Gospel; but the end was not attained by merely issuing these decrees. Dominic was a man of action. He realized the need of the age and chose as his particular lifework the preaching of the Gospel. He established an Order, dedicated entirely to the salvation of souls by means of teaching and preaching the Word of God. With this foundation Dominic introduced an entirely new element into the history of religious orders. He retained the community life and solemn choral prayer of the Augustinian canons and adopted many austerities from the old monastic orders, but added to all this the stipulation that the particular task of his followers would be the salvation of their fellow men. For that purpose he obliged his disciples to devote themselves, rain or shine, to study and preaching.
Dominic became the patriarch of apostolic orders. To all with whom he came in contact, to his brethren and to outsiders, he was in truth an openhanded and largehearted Father, wonderfully indulgent, but at the same time not yielding an inch in those things which mature deliberation had convinced him were necessary, and ready to attempt squaring a circle in order to carry out a worthy undertaking. Such a man has much to tell our own generation, perhaps everything needed for a genuine renewal.

The present reprint is a fresh OCR by Mediatrix Press, not a facsimile reprint. It has been carefully edited to ensure its faithfulness to the original.