The Assisi Compilation - 180 

Francis had prayed for him. He began to praise God and to rejoice both in body and soul. From that time on, he had an even greater devotion to the holy father, considering in him the greatness of his holiness. As long as he lived he held this to be a great miracle, and he often related to the brothers and others what had happened to him.


For a long time and even until the day of his death, blessed Francis suffered ailments of the liver, spleen, and stomach. From the time when he was overseas to preach to the Sultan of Babylon and Egypt, he had a very severe eye disease, caused by the hardship and fatigue of travel, as he endured the extreme heat both in coming and going.a Because of the fervent spirit he had from the moment of his conversion to Christ, he refused to be concerned about treatment for any of his ailments despite the request of his brothers and many others, moved by piety and compassion for him. What was bitter to his body he accepted and considered sweet on account of the sweetness and compassion that he drew daily from the humility and footprints of the Son of God. Because of the sufferings and bitter experiences of Christ, which He endured for us, he grieved and afflicted himself daily in body and soul to such a degree that he did not treat his own illnesses.


Once, a few years after his conversion, he was walking alone one day along the road not too far from the church of Saint Mary of the Portiuncula, crying loudly and wailing as he went. As he was walking along, a spiritual man met him, someone we know and from whom we learned about this incident, who had shown him great mercy and consolation, both before he had any brothers and afterwards. Moved by piety toward him, he asked him: "Brother, what's wrong?" He thought that blessed Francis was suffering some painful illness. But he answered: "I should go through the whole world this way, without any shame, crying and bewailing the Passion of my




Compilatio Assisiensis, Fontes Franciscani, p. 1586-1588

9Et reversus in se a statim cognovit beatum Franciscum orasse pro eo. 10Et cepit laudare Deum et habere inde letitiam utriusque hominis. 11Et exinde maiorem devotionem habuit in sancto patre considerando in se magnitudinem sanctitatis eius, et in se dum vixit pro magno miraculo habuit, et fratribus et aliis sicut sibi acciderat multotiens annuntiavit.


1Cum beatus Franciscus per longum tempus habuisset, et habuit usque ad diem mortis sue, infirmitates epatis, splenis et stomachi, 2et a tempore quo fuit in ultramarinis partibus ad predicandum Soldano Babilonie et Egypti habuisset infirmitatem maximam oculorum propter multum laborem ex fatigatione itineris, qui in eundo et redeundo sustinuit magnum calorem, 3noluit tamen inde habere sollicitudinem ut faceret se curari de aliqua illarum infirmitatum, licet a suis fratribus et a multis, pietate et compassione ipsius, rogatus inde fuisset, propter ferventem spiritum quem habuit ab initio sue conversionis ad Christum: 4quia propter magnam dulcedinem et compassionem quam cotidie attrahebat de humilitate et vestigiis Filii Dei, quou erat amarum carni, pro dulci sumebat et habebat. 5Immo etiam de doloribus et amaritudinibus Christi, quas pro nobis toleravit, in tantum cotidie dolebat et pro ipsis interius et exterius se affligebat, quod de suis propriis non curabat.


1Unde, quodam tempore, paucis annis post conversionem suam cum ambularet quadam die solus per viam non multum longe ab ecclesia Sancte Marie de Portiuncula, ibat alta voce plangendo et eiulando. 2Cumque sic ambularet, quidam spiritualis homo, quem novimus et ab eo istud intelleximus, qui multam misericordiam et consolationem fecerat sibi antequam haberet fratrem aliquem et postea similiter, obviavit illi, 3et motus pietate circa ipsum interrogavit eum dicens: « Quid habes, frater? ». 4Putabat enim quod haberet dolorem alicuius infirmitatis. 5At ille: « Ita deberem ire plangendo et eiulando sine verecundia per totum mundum passionem Domini me! ».

Francis of Assisi: Early Documents, vol. 2, p. 180