The Life of Blessed Francis - 626 

and filling the souls of all with wonder,
since it made no pretense
at the elegance of human composition,
but exuded the breath of divine revelation.

Once when he was to preach before the pope and cardinals at the suggestion of the lord of Ostia, he memorized a sermon which he had carefully composed. When he stood in their midst to offer his edifying words, he went completely blank and was unable to say anything at all. This he admitted to them in true humility and directed himself to invoke the grace of the Holy Spirit. Suddenly he began to overflow with such effective eloquence and to move the minds of those high-ranking men to compunction with such force and power that it was clearly evident it was not he, but the Spirit of the Lord who was speaking.

8Because he first convinced himself by action and then convinced others by word, he did not fear rebuke, but spoke the truth boldly. He did not encourage, but struck at the life of sin with a sharp blow, nor did he smooth over, but struck at the faults of sinners with harsh reproaches. He spoke with the same constancy of mind to the great and the small, and would speak with the same joy of spirit to the few as to the many.

People of all ages and both sexes hurried
to see and hear
this new man
given to the world by heaven.
Moving about through various regions,
he preached the Gospel ardently,
as the Lord worked with him
and confirmed his preaching with the signs that followed. Mk 16:20 a
For in the power of His name
Francis, the herald of truth,
cast out devils and healed the sick,
and, what is greater,
he softened the obstinate minds of sinners
and moved them to penance,
restoring at the same time health to their bodies and hearts,

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Legenda Maior, Fontes Franciscani, p. 884-885


omniumque mentes admiratione replebat,
cum non humanae inventionis ornatum
praetenderet,
sed divinae revelationis afflatum redoleret.

- 3Nam cum semel, praedicaturus coram Papa et cardinalibus, ad suggestionem domini Ostiensis, sermonem quemdam studiose compositum commendasset memoriae stetissetque in medio, ut aedificationis verba proponeret, sic oblivioni tradidit omnia, ut effari aliquid omnino nesciret. 4Verum, cum hoc veridica humilitate narrasset, conferens se ad sancti Spiritus gratiam invocandam, tam efficacibus subito coepit verbis affluere tamque potenti virtute illorum mentes virorum sublimium ad compunctionem inflectere, ut aperte clareret, quod non ipse, sed Spiritus Domini loquebatur.

8 1Et quoniam sibi primo suaserat opere quod aliis suadebat sermone, reprehensorem non timens, veritatem fidentissime praedicabat. 2Nesciebat aliquorum culpas palpare sed pungere, nec vitam fovere peccantium, sed aspera increpatione ferire. 3Eadem mentis constantia magnis loquebatur et parvis eademque spiritus iucunditate paucis loquebatur et multis.

4Omnis aetas omnisque sexus properabat
virum novum mundo caelitus datum
et cernere et audire.
5Ipse vero per diversas regiones progrediens,
evangelizabat ardenter,
Domino cooperante
et sermonem confirmante sequentibus signis.
6In virtute namque nominis elus
veritatis praeco Franciscus
eiciebat daemonia, sanabat infirmos,
7et quod maius est,
sui sermonis efficacia obstinatorum
mentes ad poenitentiam molliebat
simulque sanitatem corporibus reddebat et cordibus,

Francis of Assisi: Early Documents, vol. 2, p. 626