The Remembrance of the Desire of a Soul (1245-1247) - 414 

The Remembrance of the Desire of a Soul by Thomas of Celano

The prologue of Thomas of Celano's Remembrance of the Desire of a Soul presents two almost independent approaches. "Our memory, like that of ignorant people, is blunted by the passage of time," the first paragraph laments, "and cannot attain the heights of his profound words. . ." It was clearly Thomas's task to write down those events and insights of the first followers of Francis that were not contained in his Life. But we must wonder at his profuse modesty that belies his literary expertise. The Prologue's second paragraph, however, offers another perspective maintaining that the Remembrance of the Desire of a Soul was written to state "the good, pleasing, and perfect will of our most holy father [Francis]…both for himself and his followers." Thus the work contains more than new hagiographical material; it also attempts a synthetic presentation of the spiritual theology of the saint. If Thomas's Life was built upon the strong foundation of an ecclesial theology of reform, this second portrait relied on the same basic principles of reform to strengthen the life of the Order of Lesser Brothers as the fraternity faced the developmental crises of its first decades.

It is clear that Thomas used those memoirs and documents sent to the Minister General, Crescentius d'Iesi, upon the request of the General Chapter of 1244, and wove them into his own tapestry.




Clare of Assisi: Early Documents, p. 414