The Life of Blessed Francis - 631 

When according to his usual custom
he had begun to fast there for forty days
in honor of Saint Michael the Archangel,
he experienced more abundantly than usual
an overflow of the sweetness of heavenly contemplation,
was on fire with an ever intense flame of heavenly desires,a
and began to be aware more fully of the gifts of heavenly entries.
He was carried into the heights,
not as a curious searcher of the supreme majesty
crushed by its glory,
but as a faithful and prudent servant, Mt 24:45
exploring God's good pleasure,
to which, with the greatest ardor, he desires
to conform himself in every way.

2Through a divine sign from heaven he had learned that in opening the book of the Gospel, Christ would reveal to him what God considered most acceptable in him and from him. After completing his prayer with much devotion, he took the book of the sacred Gospels from the altar and had his companion, a holy man dedicated to God, open it three times in the name of the Holy Trinity. All three times, when the book was opened, the Lord's passion always met his eyes. The man filled with God understood that, just as he had imitated Christ in the actions of his life, so he should be conformed to him in the affliction and sorrow of his passion, before he would pass out of this world. Jn 13:1

And although his body was already weakened
by the great austerity of his past life
and his continual carrying of the Lord's cross,
he was in no way terrified,
but was inspired even more vigorously
to endure martyrdom.
The unconquerable enkindling of love in him
for the good Jesus
had grown into lamps and flames of fire,
that many waters could not quench so powerful a love.

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Legenda Maior, Fontes Franciscani, p. 890-891


5Cum igitur iuxta solitum morem
quadragesimam ibidem
ad honorem sancti Archangeli Michaelis ieiunare coepisset,
supernae contemplationis dulcedine
abundantius solito superfusus
ac caelestium desideriorum ardentiore flamma succensus,
supernarum coepit immissionum cumulatius dona sentire.
6Ferebatur quidem in altum,
non ut curiosus maiestatis perscrutator
opprimendus a gloria,
sed tamquam servus fidelis et prudens,
investigans beneplacitum Dei,
cui se conformare omnimode
summo peroptabat ardore.

2 1Immissum est igitur menti eius per divinum oraculum, quod in apertione libri evangelici revelaretur ei a Christo, quid Deo in ipso et de ipso maxime foret acceptum. 2Oratione itaque cum multa devotione praemissa, sacrum Evangeliorum librum de altari sumptum in sanctae Trinitatis nomine aperiri fecit per socium, virum utique Deo devotum et sanctum. 3Sane cum in trina libri apertione Domini passio semper occurreret, intellexit vir Deo plenus, quod sicut Christum fuerat imitatus in actibus vitae, sic conformis ei esse deberet in afflictionibus et doloribus passionis, antequam ex hoc mundo transiret.

4Et licet propter multam austeritatem vitae praeteritae
crucisque dominicae baiulationem continuam
imbecillis esset iam corpore,
nequaquam est territus,
sed ad martyrii sustinentiam
vigorosius animatus.
5Exereverat quidem in eo insuperabile amoris incendium
boni Iesu
in lampades ignis atque flammarum,
ut aquae multae caritatem eius tam validam exstinguere non valerent.

Francis of Assisi: Early Documents, vol. 2, p. 631