The Life of Blessed Francis - 558 

permanently confirmed by his successor Honorius, he was advised by the following revelation from God.

It seemed to him that he was gathering tiny bread crumbs from the ground, which he had to distribute to a crowd of hungry brothers who stood all around him. He was afraid to give out such little crumbs, fearing that such minute particles might slip between his fingers, when a voice said to him from above: "Francis, make one host out of all the crumbs, and give it to those who want to eat." He did it, whoever did not receive it devoutly, or showed contempt for the gift received, soon appeared obviously covered with leprosy.

In the morning the holy man told all this to his companions, regretting that he did not understand the mystery of the vision. Dn 2:19 On the following day, while he kept vigil in prayer, he heard this voice coming down from heaven: "Francis, the crumbs of last night are the words of the Gospel; the host is the rule and the leprosy is wickedness."

Since he therefore wanted the Rule that had been taken from a more widespread collection of Gospel passages to be confirmed, he went up to a certain mountain led by the Holy Spirit, with two of his companions, to condense it into a shorter form as the vision had dictated. There he fasted, content with only bread and water, and dictated the rule as the Holy Spirit suggested to him while he was praying.a When he came down from the mountain, he gave the rule to his vicar to keep. After a few days had elapsed, the vicar claimed that it had been lost through carelessness. The holy man went off again to the place of solitude and rewrote it just as before, as if he were taking the words from the mouth of God. And he obtained confirmation for it, as he had desired, from the lord Pope Honorius, in the eighth year of his pontificate.

Fervently exhorting the brothers to observe this rule,
Francis used to say
that nothing of what he had placed there
came from his own efforts
but that he dictated everything
just as it had been revealed by God.
To confirm this with greater certainty by God's own testimony,
when only a few days had passed,

 Previous

Next 

 

Legenda Maior, Fontes Franciscani, p. 812-813


vivendi formam per dominum Innocentium approbatam disponeret per successorem ipsius Honorium in perpetuum facere roborari, huiusmodi fuit a Deo revelatione commonitus.

2Videbatur quidem sibi de terra micas panum subtilissimas collegisse multisque famelicis fratribus ipsum circumstantibus debere tribuere. 3Cumque micas tam tenues distribuere formidaret, ne forte inter manus exciderent; vox ei desuper ait: « Francisce, unam de micis omnibus hostiam facito et manducare volentibus tribue ». 4Quo id agente, quicumque illud non devote recipiebant, aut receptum contemnebant donum, mox lepra infecti notabiles apparebant.

5Recitat mane vir sanctus haec omnia sociis, dolens, se non percipere mysterium visionis. 6Sequenti vero die, cum vigil in oratione persisteret, huiuscemodi vocem de caelo delapsam audivit: « Francisce, micae praeteritae noetis verba evangelica sunt, hostia regula, lepra iniquitas ».

7Volens igitur confirmandam Regulam ex verborum Evangelii aggregatione profusius traditam ad compendiosiorem formam, iuxta quod dictabat visio monstrata, redigere, in montem quemdam cum duobus sociis, Spiritu sancto ducente, conscendit, ubi pane tantum contentus et aqua, ieiunans, conscribi eam fecit, secundum quod oranti sibi divinus Spiritus suggerebat. 8Quam cum, de monte descendens, servandam. suo vicario commisisset, et ille, paucis elapsis diebus, assereret per incuriam perditam, iterato sanctus vir ad locum solitudinis rediit eamque instar prioris, ac si ex ore Dei verba susciperet, illico reparavit et per supradictum dominum Papam Honorium, octavo pontificatus illius anno, sicut optaverat, obtinuit confirmari.

9Ad cuius observantiam fratres ferventer inducens,
dicebat,
se nihil ibi posuisse
secundum industriam propriam,
sed omnia sic scribi fecisse,
sicut sibi fuerant divinitus revelata.
10Quod ut certius constaret testimonio Dei,
paucis admodum evolutis diebus,

Francis of Assisi: Early Documents, vol. 2, p. 558