The Evening Sermon on Saint Francis, 1262 - 718 

The Evening Sermon on Saint Francis

Preached at Paris, October 4, 1262

According to Sophronius Clasen this dates from October 4, 1258, and was the only sermon preached before the Major Legend,a and according to John F. Quinn it was preached on October 4, 1269.b However, on the basis of the content of this sermon, several passages of which correspond almost literally to the Major Legend, Ignatius C. Brady established that this sermon was preached at Paris in the evening of October 4, 1262.c

Then will appear the sign of the Son of Man in heaven


In the morning sow your seed and at evening withhold not your hand; for you do not know which will prosper, this or that: and if both together, it shall be the better.

The wise Ecclesiastes addresses these words to the preacher of God's truth, that he should not rest content with having preached in the morning, but should preach and go on preaching at every hour in the evening, as Saint Paul admonishes Timothy: Preach the word; be urgent in season and out of season, convince, rebuke, and exhort; be unfailing in patience and in teaching.

Today the cardinal preached to you and I trust that with God's help the seed he sowed will bear fruit in you.d If now I also can say something that will bear fruit in you, that will be excellent.

Of course, some may say: "What is the point of so many sermons, when they have become occasions of boredom and ridicule?" But that is not true. A person with a well-disposed heart does not get bored; on the contrary, he listens willingly at any time to words




Francis of Assisi: Early Documents, vol. 2, p. 718