The Life of Blessed Francis - 612 

Chapter Eleven


1Unflagging zeal for prayer
with a continual exercise of virtue
had led the man of God to such serenity of mind that,
although he had no expertise in Sacred Scripture through learning,
his intellect, nevertheless
enlightened by the splendor of eternal light,
probed the depths of Scripture
with remarkable incisiveness.a
For his genius, pure and unstained,
penetrated hidden mysteries,
and where the knowledge of teachers stands outside,
the passion of the lover entered.
Whenever he read the Sacred Books,
and something struck his mind
he imprinted it tenaciously on his memory,
becauseb he did not grasp in vain
what his attentive mind heard,
for he would mull over it
with affection and constant devotion.

Once, when the brothers asked him whether he was pleased that the learned men, who, by that time, had been received into the Order, were devoting themselves to the study of Sacred Scripture, he replied:c "I am indeed pleased, as long as, after the example of Christ, of whom we read that he prayed more than he read, they do




Legenda Maior, Fontes Franciscani, p. 869-870

Caput XI

- De intelligentia Scripturarum
spiritu prophetiae.

1 1Ad tantam autem mentis serenitatem indefessum orationis studium
cum continua exercitatione virtutum
virum Dei perduxerat, ut,
quamvis non habuerit sacrarum litterarum peritiam per doctrinam,
aeternae tamen lucis irradiatus fulgoribus,
Scripturarum profunda miro
intellectus scrutaretur acumine.
2Penetrabat enim ab omni labe purum
ngenium mysteriorum abscondita,
et ubi magistralis scientia foris stat,
affectus introibat amantis.
3Legebat quandoque in libris sacris,
et quod animo semel iniecerat,
tenaciter imprimebat memoriae,
quia non frustra
mentalis attentionis
percipiebat auditu quod
continuae devotionis, ruminabat affectu.

- 4Quaerentibus aliquando fratribus, utrum sibi placeret quod litterati iam recepti ad Ordinem intenderent studio sacrae Scripturae respondit: 5« Mihi quidem placet, dum tamen exemplo Christi, qui magis orasse legitur quam legisse, orationis studium non omittant,

Francis of Assisi: Early Documents, vol. 2, p. 612