The Life of Blessed Francis - 532 

afflicting his body with prolonged illness
in order to prepare his soul for the anointing of the Holy Spirit.

And when the strength of his body was restored, dressed as usual in his fine clothes, he met a knight who was of noble birth, but poor and badly clothed. Moved by a pious impulse of care for his poverty,a he took off his own garments and clothed the man on the spot. At one and the same time he fulfilled the two-fold duty of piety by covering over the embarrassment of a noble knight and relieving the want of a poor human being.

3 The following night, when he had fallen asleep, the divine kindness showed him a large and splendid palace with military arms emblazoned with the insignia of Christ's cross. Thus it vividly indicated that the mercy he had exhibited to a poor knight for love of the supreme King would be repaid with an incomparable reward.b When he asked to whom these belonged, the response he received from on high was that all these things were for him and his knights. Therefore, on waking up in the morning, since he was not yet disciplined in penetrating the divine mysteries and did not know how to pass through the visible appearancec to contuitd the invisible truth, he

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Legenda Maior, Fontes Franciscani, p. 782-783


diutinis languoribus ipsius corpus affligens,
ut coaptaret animam ad sancti Spiritus unctionem.

3Cumque, resumptis corporis viribus, sibi vestimenta decentia more solito praeparasset, obvium habuit militem quemdam generosum quidem, sed pauperem et male vestitum, 4cuius pauperiem pio miseratus affectu, illum protinus, se exuto, vestivit, ut simul in uno geminum impleret pietatis officium, quo et nobilis militis verecundiam tegeret et pauperis hominis penuriam relevaret.

3 1Nocte vero sequenti, cum se sopori dedisset, palatium speciosum et magnum cum militaribus armis crucis Christi signaculo insignitis clementia sibi divina mongtravit, ut misericordiam pro summi Regis amore pauperi exhibitam militi praeostenderet incomparabili compensandam esse mercede. 2Unde et cum quaereret, cuius essent: illa omnia sua fore militumque suorum, superna fuit assertione responsum. 3Evigilans itaque mane, cum nondum haberet exercitatum animum ad divina perscrutanda mysteria nesciretque per visibilium species transire ad contuendam invisibilium veritatem, magnae fore prosperitatis indicium aestimabat insolitam visionem.

Francis of Assisi: Early Documents, vol. 2, p. 532