Fr. Murray Bodo, OFM, Franciscan Poet
Those are the two magnetic poles of my life: books and the Franciscan Priesthood. The glue that holds them together is Saint Francis of Assisi himself.
Growing up as an only child in Gallup, N.M., Fr. Murray Bodo, OFM, was always performing improvised skits for whoever would watch. It was not until he was in high school that he discovered poetry as a creative outlet.
Following ordination on June 5, 1964, he continued his studies, then went on to teach at St. Francis Seminary and Duns Scotus College. He served as Spiritual Director and did a lot of research and writing as well.
In 1972 Murray, a teacher and an up-and-coming poet, went to Italy on a mission to write a book about St. Francis. He produced a slim paperback of prose that defined his future and continues to inspire readers around the world in ways he could never have imagined. That book was Francis: The Journey and the Dream.
Murray’s work far surpassed the expectations of its author and its publisher (St. Anthony Messenger Press, now Franciscan Media). More than 200,000 copies have been sold in English, Spanish, German, Italian, Chinese, Maltese, Portuguese, Slovenian and Korean. Asked if he ever tires of talking about it, like a rock star who’s always singing his greatest hit, Fr. Murray shakes his head no. “It always gives me an opportunity to talk about Francis, who along with Jesus is one of the passions of my life.”
Forty years, dozens of books and hundreds of poems later, the work that is still most celebrated, most closely associated with its author is ,The Journey and the Dream now available in an anniversary hardback edition. Facing his 77th birthday in June, “It is like I did the book of my life at 35 years old,” Murray says. “Everything I have written since, its seed, its germ, are in that book. I smile at myself and wonder if I should have stopped there.”
Fortunately for us, he did not.
Francis and Jesus published by Franciscan Media
"You are about to be led on a wonderful journey with both Jesus and Francis, by Fr. Murray Bodo, who has earned the right to speak about both of them."—From the foreword by Richard Rohr
Of Francis and Clare published by Tau Publishing
“Of Francis and Clare brings together in one volume all of the poems relating to St. Francis and St. Clare that I've written from 1980 to 2013. Cumulatively, they provide a sort of landscape of the world of Francis and Clare that writing the poems revealed to me. Each of these poems is a small journey of discovery, and all of them together are, I hope, the landscape of a larger journey into the heart of the Franciscan vision and charisma." -- Fr. Murray
"It's the first time that I've written a book specifically on Assisi since Susan Saint Sing and I wrote A Retreat with Francis and Clare of Assisi. But this book is more a homage, a love song to the city I've been visiting for over 40 years." --Fr. Murray
To learn more about Fr. Murray, his books, and the Franciscan Pilgrimages he leads in Assisi, Italy, please visit his website: http://www.murraybodo.com
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