The Four Gospels, by Brother Francis Maluf, M.I.C.M., Ph.D. (1913-2009)

Br. Francis Maluf, M.I.C.M.


Brother Francis Maluf, M.I.C.M., Ph.D. was a brilliant Christian Arab philosopher, poet, political thinker, and lifelong student of the sacred sciences.

With all four Gospels committed to memory (three in Latin and one in Greek), Brother Francis had a prodigious command of the Scriptures, which he long meditated on and assiduously studied through the writings of the Fathers and Doctors of the Church, ever faithful to the infallible Magisterium of the Supreme Pontiff.

Testimonials / More about Brother Francis / Other available lectures / Brother Francis' published volumes


The Four Gospels

Brother Francis devoted over thirty years to the study of the Gospels before he gave classes on them. He memorized each of the four, and could recite Saint John’s Gospel in Greek. The best way to get to know Our Lord, he insisted, is to contemplate Him as He is revealed to us in the Gospels.

Saint Matthew’s Gospel. Only two of the twelve Apostles were inspired to write a Gospel: Saints Matthew and John. Saint Matthew had the conversion of the Jews most in mind in the writing of his Gospel, which is why he is the only writer among the New Testament authors to have written originally in Aramaic, the language spoken by the Galilean Jews. To convince the Jews that Jesus is the Messiah he provides an abundance of examples of Old Testament prophecies fulfilled in Christ. Beginning with the Savior’s humanity, i.e., His genealogy from Abraham, and then introducing the Incarnation with the history of the birth of Jesus from the Virgin Mary and the adoration of the Magi, Matthew soon after includes three chapters on the Sermon on the Mount before proceeding to record more miracles and more parables than any of the other evangelists. One could say that Matthew moves his readers to see the divinity of the Messiah by first focusing on the uniqueness of His humanity. This is why the symbol of Matthew (his attribute in art taken from the prophetic vision of Ezechiel) is the face of a man. His is the longest of the Gospels and the first book to be written in the New Testament. Saint Matthew preached and was martyred (stabbed to death while saying Mass at the altar) in Ethiopia.

Saint Mark’s Gospel. This course was given by Brother Michael, M.I.C.M. in the mid-1980s, Brother Francis had personally tutored Brother Michael, studying the four Gospels with him in the inspired Greek and commenting on every verse. The symbol for Saint Mark is the lion, which gives us the clue that his Gospel emphasizes the power and kingly authority of Christ. While not one of the twelve, Saint Mark was intimately associated with Saint Peter and is traditionally styled Interpres Petri, the “interpreter of Peter.” We should expect to find in this Gospel reflections of the Prince of the Apostles, and we do. Peter’s spontaneity, for example, is manifest in Mark’s repeated use of the word euthus (twenty-eight times), which means “immediately.” Mark’s is the shortest of the synoptic Gospels. He was martyred in AD 68.

Saint Luke’s Gospel. This was Brother Francis’ favorite Gospel. One of the reasons he was so enthused about Saint Luke’s Gospel was that this sacred writer gave much prominence to the cooperative role of the Blessed Virgin Mary and her indispensable fiat. He gave us the account of the Annunciation and the Visitation with Our Lady’s sublime canticle the Magnificat. He also gives chivalrous tribute to other women whose lives were touched by Our Lord, such as the woman with the issue of blood, who hoped to be cured by Our Lord by touching just the hem of His garment. A physician himself, Luke noted that she had “bestowed all her substance on physicians, and could not be healed by any.” Luke was the only gentile writer of the New Testament. He was converted by Saint Paul, the Apostle to the Gentiles. In fact he is styled Comes Pauli, the “companion of Paul,” having been with him on most of his missionary journeys. In this connection too, Luke provides a genealogy of Our Lord through Our Lady’s ancestry all the way back to Adam, the father of all men. The symbol of Saint Luke is the ox, the primary sacrificial victim in the Temple of Solomon under the Old Law. That is our clue that the Gospel of Saint Luke emphasizes the priesthood of Our Redeemer. Although Our Lord’s eternal priesthood was of a different order, that of Melchisedech, the King of Salem, Luke begins his Gospel with the story of Zachary, a priest of the order of Aaron, who was serving his course in the temple when visited by an angel.

Saint John’s Gospel. Brother Francis’ series on the Gospel of Saint John is his best. Brother takes full advantage of the fact that 90% of this Gospel is unique material, not found in the three synoptic accounts. This is the Gospel written by him whom the Greeks honored as “The Theologian,” on account of the sublimity of its doctrine. It begins in eternity, “in the beginning,” before creation, with the generation of the Word. John’s objective was to defend the divinity of Christ against the Gnostic heretics who denied it. The Eagle is, appropriately enough, the symbol attributed to Saint John the Evangelist. Saint John’s Gospel soars to the heights of contemplation and brings us into the mystical realm of Our Lord’s revelations. He drank in the doctrine of the Trinity and the Mystical Body directly from Our Savior’s Heart, and communicated these mysteries to the Church by devoting four chapters to Christ’s prayer and discourse at the Last Supper. The privilege of being Our Lady’s priest, surrogate son, confidant, and protector was his for many years, until her Assumption in the year 58. The depth of his writings reflect his fifteen years of filial association with the Mother of God, in addition to the fruits of his contemplation and three years of tutelage under Our Lord. He wrote his Gospel in the year 98, two years before his death.

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"I had the opportunity... to sit in on a few of Brother Francis’ conferences and was amazed at his clarity, simplicity, patience and gentle firmness in teaching the fullness of the Catholic Faith. He greatly loved his Faith and was a good, faithful and humble servant of the Lord and His Mother. I am proud to have known him and to have learned from him." —Father Carlos Casavantes, F.S.S.P. (St. Damien Catholic Church, Edmond OK)

"Brother Francis’ teaching is very much in the tradition of Saint Thomas, Saint Augustine, and, most importantly, of Our Lord Himself. His wisdom is very much of the quality necessary for our own benighted age. And I would encourage everyone interested in Catholic wisdom, natural and revealed, to take advantage of his eight courses of philosophy and his commentaries on holy scripture." —Father Lawrence Smith (Silver Cliff, Wisconsin)

"What is so attractive about this work [Philosophia Perennis] is that Brother Francis teaches the truth and the splendor of Wisdom in the manner of a wise man, without sacrificing the requisite precision and depth of knowledge. In this sapiential approach, the whole illumines each part, rendering them capable to form in the reader that same vision of God’s created order with which to judge the true from the false, to love the good from what is only apparently so, and to persuade others to be disciples of Holy Wisdom." —Father Christopher Manuele (St. Joseph Melkite Church, Scranton, PA)

"Brother Francis was an unusually fine and gifted teacher and scholar. I appreciated his tapes. They were an excellent learning experience and an invaluable aid to understanding difficult philosophical concepts." —Father Stanley McIsaac, O.S., S.T.D.

"After listening to all his philosophy tapes, each one studiously, I always felt better informed. More importantly, I always felt closer to the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary." —Hon. Joseph Nolan (Retired Associate Justice of the Supreme Judicial Court of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts; Professor, Suffolk University Law School)

"What my beloved German mentor, Josef Pieper, once said . . . about another man . . . applies so well to Brother Francis Maluf himself. [K] ein falscher Ton. Not a false tone! Brother Francis Maluf will help us in our combative and strategically discerning resistance to such grave desolations of despair, and to their principles of disorder. [His] clarifications and truthful affirmations, like his personal example, are fortifying and enlivening . . . an indispensable aid to our further lives in the Faith, that we may live . . . under grace, in a festive communion of deep gratitude." —Robert Hickson, Ph.D. (Former Professor and Chairman of the Literature and Latin Department at Christendom College, Former Professor in the William Simon Chair of Strategy and Culture at the U.S. Air Force Academy, Former Army Special Forces Officer)

"A political ideologue of the highest caliber. . . . He was methodical in everything he did, a labor of perfectionism and devotion. . . . Fakhri Maluf [Brother Francis] was a natural leader who stepped up to the plate in our country’s [Lebanon's] hour of need. His moral consistency and religious faith were evident to all." —Adel Beshara, Ph.D. (Fellow and teacher in the Department of History at the University of Melbourne, Austrailia; Editor-in-Chief of al-Mashriq, a Quarterly Journal of Middle East Studies; Author of Syrian Nationalism: An Inquiry into the Political Philosophy of Antun Sa'adeh)

"Thank goodness these lectures of Brother Francis are recorded. It means that beyond the many privileged to learn from him in his lifetime, a far greater number in generations to come will have the opportunity to be edified and enriched through an encounter with one of the twentieth centuries great teachers." —Gary Potter (Washington D.C., Professional Journalist, a founding editor of Triumph Magazine, author of In Reaction)

"At a time when so much of Catholic thought was infected with modernism, Brother Francis offered his students a safe harbor of Catholic sanity and orthodoxy, while never failing to confront them with the full challenge of the Faith. The teachings and writings of Brother Francis were always characterized by a profound erudition, rigorous logic, and lucid powers of expression, all animated by the theological virtues, and complemented by the humble piety of the teacher. I believe future generations will count as privileged those who received their spiritual and intellectual formation from Brother Francis." —C. Joseph Doyle (Executive Director, Catholic Action League of Massachusetts)


More about Brother Francis Maluf, M.I.C.M., Ph.D.

Brother Francis was born, in the town of Mashrah, Lebanon, about thirty miles from Beirut, in 1913. His given name was Fakhri Boutros Maluf. The Maluf family is descended from the ancient Ghassanids, Christian and Catholic Arabs who courageously kept the Faith in the face of Moslem aggression.

Though poor, Fakhri’s family saw to his education, which was provided at home, in a small school that his father operated. In 1934, Fakhri graduated from the American University of Beirut with a Bachelor’s Degree in mathematics. From 1934 to 1939, he taught physics at that same University.

In 1939, he moved to the United States to attend the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, where he received first an M.A. and, in 1942, a Ph.D. in philosophy. On the Feast of St. Andrew (Nov. 30) in 1940, he became a Catholic. After receiving his Ph.D., he continued post-graduate studies at Harvard University and Saint Bonaventure University.

From 1942 to 1945, Dr. Maluf taught mathematics and science at Holy Cross College in Worcester, Massachusetts. From 1945 to 1949, he taught philosophy, theology, and mathematics at Boston College.

Since that time, Brother Francis continued to teach Sacred Scripture, philosophy, theology, science and mathematics at various levels.

On July 19, 2009, Brother Francis marked his 96th birthday. On September 5 of that year — a first Saturday — Brother went to his reward.


Partial List of Available Lectures

The Four Gospel Set 

Sunday Talk Series

Saint Paul's Epistle to the Hebrews

Commentary on Machabees

St. Paul’s Epistle to the Romans

First Epistle of St. Peter

Commentary on the Acts of the Apostles (the same as downloadable MP3 files)

Commentary on Genesis


Brother Francis’ Published Books


Divine Alchemy

CODE: DA - 01

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By Brother Francis Maluf, M.I.C.M. One can detect a definite influence from the priest poet, Father Feeney, in the rhyme and rhythm of the philosopher... More

Philosophia Perennis: Vol I - Introduction to Philosophy

CODE: PP - 05

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By Brother Francis, M.I.C.M. The author applies his fifty plus years of teaching philosophy to give the student an appreciation for sound thinking... More

Philosophia Perennis: Vol III - Cosmology

CODE: PP - 03

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By Brother Francis Maluf, M.I.C.M. This is the third course, Volume III, in Brother Francis' eight course study of perennial philosophy. An Introduction... More

The Challenge of Faith

CODE: CF - 02

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By Brother Francis Maluf, M.I.C.M. This is a book of seventy-two concise meditations, each one pondering a different subject. Whether it is an event, as... More

The Death of Christian Culture


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