The Life of Blessed Francis - 566 

a visitation of heavenly light even a little
because of love of the light
that we have in common with flies.
For the body receives the gift of light
for the sake of the spirit
and not the spirit for the sake of the body."
He preferred to lose his sight
rather than to repress the devotion of his spirit
and hold back the tears
which cleansed his interior vision
so that he could see God.a

9 Once he was advised by doctors, and was strongly urged by the brothers, to undergo the process of cauterization. The man of God agreed humbly because he realized that it would be at the same time salutary and harsh. The surgeon who had been summoned then came and placed an iron instrument in the fire for cauterizing. But the servant of Christ, comforting his body, which was struck with panic, spoke to the fire as a friend: "My brother Fire, your beauty is the envy of all creatures, the Most High created you strong, beautiful and useful. Be gracious to me in this hour; be courteous! I pray the Great Lord who created you to temper now your heat that I may bear your gentle burning."

With the prayer finished, he traced the sign of the cross over the iron instrument glowing in the fire, and waited unafraid. The hissing iron was sunk into tender flesh, and the burn is extended straight slowly from the ear to the eyebrow. How much pain that burning caused, that holy man expressed: "Praise the Most High," he said to the brothers, "because I tell you truly, I felt neither the heat of the fire nor any pain in my flesh." And turning to the doctor, he said: "If my flesh isn't well cooked, then try again!" The experienced doctor was amazed at the powerful strength of spirit in his weak body, and proclaimed it a divine miracle, saying: "I say to you, brothers, I have seen wonderful things today."




Legenda Maior, Fontes Franciscani, p. 819-820

ob amorem luminis,
quod habemus commune cum muscis,
visitatio lucis aeternae repellenda vel modicum,
quia non spiritus propter carnem,
sed caro propter spiritum
beneficium lucis accepit ».
5Malebat siquidem corporalis visus lumen
amittere quam lacrimas,
quibus oculus mundatur interior,
ut Deum videre valeat,
repressa devotione spiritus impedire.

9 1Cum autem semel daretur consilium a medicis, et instanter suaderetur a fratribus, ut pateretur sibi per remedium subveniri cocturae, humiliter vir Dei assensit, quia salutiferum hoc simul et asperum esse cernebat. 2Vocatus itaque venit chirurgicus, instrumentum ferreum igni submittens ad faciendum cocturam. 3At Christi servus corpus iam horrore concussum confortans, sicut amicum coepit ignem alloqui, dicens: « Mi frater ignis, caeteris rebus aemulandi decoris, virtuosum, pulchrum et utilem te creavit Altissimus. 4Esto mihi in hac hora propitius, esto curialis! 5Precor magnum Dominum, qui te creavit, ut tuum mihi calorem temperet, quo suaviter urentem valeam sustinere ».

6Oratione finita, contra igne candescens ferreum instrumentum signum crucis edidit, ac deinceps intrepidus persistebat. 7Profundatum est crepitans ferrum in tenera carne, et ab aure usque ad supercilium coctura protracta. 8Quantum irrogaverit ignis ille dolorem, vir ipse sanctus expressit: « Laudate », inquit ad fratres, « Altissimum, quia vere dico vobis, nec ignis ardorem sensi nec carnis ullum dolorem ». 9Et conversus ad medicum: « Si non est », inquit, « caro bene decocta, imprime iterum! ». 10Expertus medicus in invalida carne virtutem spiritus tam potentem miratus est, et divinum hoc miraculum extulit dicens: « Dico vobis, fratres, vidi mirabilia hodie ».

Francis of Assisi: Early Documents, vol. 2, p. 566