A Sermon on the Feast of the Transferal of the Body, 1267 - 746 

demning those who have riches, but have not set their hearts on them.

Fourth, the Lord said to him: Go up because of me whom you shall contemplate at last and in that you will be glorified. We read in The Song of Solomon: I will climb the palm tree and lay hold of its branches. The palm tree has a trunk whose lower part is very narrow. The section nearest the ground is thinner than the higher section of the trunk, which is not the case with any other tree. The palm tree is a figure of Jesus Christ, who in his humanity was made a little less than the angels, and was small and weak in this world, and in his divinity is Lord and Creator of the angels and of all things. The fruit of this tree is nothing less than the joys of eternal sweetness and everlasting glory which consists in the vision, possession, and enjoyment of God. The Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, led our patron, Saint Francis, to eternal glory. So it is that the Son of God could say to him: Friend, go up higher to my presence that with me and in me you may be glorified forever. The miracles that he performed during his life prove that he was and remains the friend of God. There is a text about Mordecai in the Book of Esther that we may apply to Saint Francis: The man whom the king desires to honor is to be clothed with the king's apparel and set upon the horse which the king has ridden and to have the royal crown upon his head. During his life he bore the stigmata of our Lord Jesus Christ. At his death he rode upon the king's horse, that is, on the cross of Christ, when a cloud appeared on which he was taken to heaven. We can say of him what Scripture says of Christ: a cloud took him out of their sight. Furthermore, the royal crown was put upon his head when he was canonized and taken to heaven to be in the company of the saints. I tell you, they consider themselves blessed who were able to touch his body.

His glory has been made great on earth. The Lord honored shepherds, prophets, and lawgivers. He gave his love to fishermen and made them princes. God loved all these and finally, after them, he set his love on merchants. He greatly loved Saint Francis who was a merchant. He made him a true merchant which Saint Francis became when he found the pearl of heavenly glory. He teaches us also to purchase the pearl.

Let us ask the Lord to give us in this life the grace to buy that pearl so that together with Saint Francis we may obtain the reward of the heavenly kingdom. May he grant us this who lives and reigns forever and ever. Amen.




Francis of Assisi: Early Documents, vol. 2, p. 746