I promised more Francis fare, and here it is.
This comes from a New York Times op-ed from last Christmas Day by Thomas Cahill. I first heard the story in a sermon for the feast of St. Francis two years ago. So yes, the encounter between Francis and the Sultan really did happen. Read the op-ed here.
If the link won't work, please let me know and I will do a cut and paste job. The link works for me, but I have one of those login thingies --don't you love it when I talk tech?-- with the Times.
In the same vein, here is a meditation on Francis and the Sultan by Jesuit peace activist John Dear.
Here is another by a freelance Catholic writer, Wendy Hoke.