The Life of Blessed Francis - 617 

and even probe obscurity of conscience,
as if another Elisha rivaling the two-fold spirit 2 Kgs 2:9 of Elijah.

7On one occasion he told a friend at Siena what would happen to him at the end of his life. Now when the learned man mentioned above, who consulted him at one time about the Scriptures, heard of this, he asked the holy father in doubt whether he had really said what the man had claimed. He not only confirmed that he had said this but, besides, foretold to this learned man, who was so eager to know another's future, the circumstances of his own end. To impress this with greater certainty on his heart, he miraculously revealed to him a certain secret scruple of conscience that the man had and which he had never disclosed to any living person; and he relieved him of it by his sound advice. The truth of all this was confirmed by the fact that this religious eventually died just as Christ's servant had foretold.

8When the holy man was returning from overseas, with brother Leonard of Assisi as his companion, he happened to climb on a donkey for a while, because he was weak and tired. But his companion walked behind, and was also quite tired. Thinking in human terms, he began to say to himself: "His parents and mine did not socialize as equals,a and here he is riding while I am on foot leading his donkey." As he was thinking this, the holy man immediately got off the donkey. "No, brother," he said. "It is not right that I should ride while you go on foot, for in the world you were more noble and influential than I." The brother was completely astonished, and overcome with embarrassment: he knew he had been caught. He fell down at his feet and, bathed in tears, he exposed his naked thought and begged forgiveness.

9A certain brother, devoted to God and to Christ's servant, frequently turned over in his heart the idea: whomever the holy man embraced with intimate affection would be worthy of divine favor. Whomever he excluded, on the other hand, he would not regard among God's chosen ones. He was obsessed by the repeated pressure of this thought and intensely longed for the intimacy of the man of God, but never revealed the secret of his heart to anyone. The devoted father called him and spoke gently to him in this way: "Let no thought disturb you, my son, because, holding you dearest among those very dear to me, I gladly lavish upon you my intimacy and




Legenda Maior, Fontes Franciscani, p. 874-876

ut etiam conscientiarum scrutaretur arcanum,
quasi alter Eliseus duplicem Eliae spiritum assecutus.

7 1Nam cum Senis viro cuidam sibi familiari quaedam superventura finaliter praedixisset, et vir ille peritus, de quo supra mentio facta est, quod de Scripturis cum eo conferebat aliquando, his auditis, ab eodem sancto patre dubitando perquireret, an haec ipse dixisset, quae illius viri relatione cognoverat; 2non solum se illa dixisse asseruit, verum etiam quaerenti alienum eventum proprium exitum prophetando praedixit. 3Quod ut certius cordi eius imprimeret, quemdam secretum conscientiae illius scrupulum, quem nulli viventi vir praefatus expresserat, et mirabiliter revelando explicuit et salubriter consulendo resecavit. 4Ad quorum omnium firmitatem accedit, quod vir ille religiosus, sicut Christi famulus ei praedixit, sic finaliter consummavit.

8 1Eo quoque tempore, quo revertebatur de ultra mare, socium habens fratrem Leonardum de Assisio, contigit eum fatigatum et lassum parumper asellum conscendere. 2Subsequens autem socius, et ipse non modicum fessus, coepit dicere intra se, humanum aliquid passus: 3« Non de pari ludebant parentes huius et mei. En, ipse equitat, et ego pedester asinum eius duco ». 4Haec illo cogitante, protinus de asino descendit vir sanctus et ait: « Non, frater, convenit, ut ego equitem, tu venias pedes, quia nobilior et potentior in saeculo me fuisti ». 5Obstupuit illico frater et rubore suffusus, deprehensum se recognoscens, procidit ad pedes ipsius, et lacrimis irrigatus, nudum exposuit cogitatum veniamque poposcit.

9 1Frater quidam Deo devotus et famulo Christi, frequenti cogitatione versabat in pectore, superna fore gratia dignum, quem vir sanctus familiari complecteretur affectu, quem vero tamquam extraneum reputaret extra numerum electorum reputandum a Deo. 2Cum igitur cogitationis huiusmodi crebrius vexatus impulsu, viri Dei familiaritatem vehementer optaret, nec tamen cordis sui secretum revelaret alicui, advocans eum ad se dulciter pater pius, sic allocutus est: 3« Nulla te turbet cogitatio, fili, quoniam te carissimum habens inter praecipue mihi caros, libenter tibi munus meae familiaritatis et dilectionis impendo ».

Francis of Assisi: Early Documents, vol. 2, p. 617