John Lee writer of A Man of Assisi was inspired by the life of Saint Francis of Assisi he felt that this saint was a man for today that the world need these virtues of caring for others, the creatures of the world and the environment.  John was also inspired by the Franciscan missionaries around the world  by their pro life work, service and their prayerful nature  Today thousands of Franciscan monasteries and the charitable work of Franciscan priests and brothers throughout the world bear testimony to the life and work of Francis, the “Man of Assisi”.

For the music John approached many composers for his musical and he was blessed to have composers Antonio Roullez, and who did most of the composing and Keith Ng did the musical arrangement Other composers who also assisted were,  . Peter Foster composer of Call of Guadalupe, David Lemewu principal singer of Call of Guadalupe now a seminarian  and Nicole Jee, John’s granddaughter.


He states that , the wild and wayward son of a rich cloth-merchant of Assisi, was born in that city in 1182 Francis was a carouser in the streets and ambitious to be a knight in shining armour fighting for self-glory in the wars between towns and cities.

He was plunged often in deep thoughts about sufferings and suffering people in the streets and cobbled lanes of Assisi, and wondered just as often about the meaning of life and his part in it.  After suffering in a battle, he found himself kissing a leper and stealing cloth from his father’s warehouse to sell and help the poor.

After being beaten and publicly disowned by his father he changed his life to that of a lonely wandering hobo. After a strange encounter with a crucifix in a derelict church – a crucifix with Christ speaking in plain speech to him that he should rebuild the church – he became an itinerant preacher, soon attracting intellectuals and peasants, rich and poor followers, and he called them Friar Minors.  

He also started an order of nuns led by an early girlfriend Clare who was attracted to his new selfless life and mission.  His life and his Friars and Nuns went on from one episode to another, one adventure after enough, even trying to convert Muslims in Jerusalem during the time of the Crusades.

Finally after preaching before people of all colours and even animals, birds and fish, he died, an acknowledged Saint by the world of his time.

Art was a struggle, a struggle to capture in visual form my response to the joy-pain pressures of the world around me.

John Lee

COG Theatre Group
Burwood VIC 3125
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