The Life of Blessed Francis - 633 

and imprinted in his flesh a likeness of signs
no less marvelous.

For immediately the marks of nails began to appear in his hands and feet just as he had seen a little before in the figure of the man crucified. His hands and feet seemed to be pierced through the center by nails, with the heads of the nails appearing on the inner side of the hands and the upper side of the feet and their points on the opposite sides. The heads of the nails in his hands and his feet were round and black; their points were oblong and bent as if driven back with a hammer, and they emerged from the flesh and stuck out beyond it. Also his right side, as if pierced with a lance, was marked with a red wound from which his sacred blood often flowed, moistening his tunic and underwear.

4As Christ's servant realized that he could not conceal from his intimate companions the stigmata that had been so visibly imprinted on his flesh, he feared to make public the Lord's sacrament a and was thrown into an agony of doubt whether to tell what he had seen or to be silent about it. He called some of the brothers and, speaking in general terms, presented his doubt to them and sought their advice. One of the brothers, Illuminato, by name and by grace,b understanding that Francis had seen something marvelous that made him seem completely dazed, said to the holy man: "Brother, you should realize that at times divine sacraments are revealed to you not for yourself alone but also for others. You have every reason to fear that if you hide what you have received for the profit of many, you will be blamed for buryingthat talent." Mt 25:25 Although the holy man used to say on other occasions: "My secret is for myself," he was moved by Illuminato's words. Then, with much fear, he recounted the vision in detail, adding that the one who had appeared to him had told him some things which he would never disclose to any person as long as he lived. We should believe, then, that those utterances of that sacred Seraph marvelously appearing to him on the cross were so secret that people are not permitted to speak of them. 2 Cor 12:4

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Legenda Maior, Fontes Franciscani, p. 892-893


sed et in carne non minus mirabilem
signorum impressit effigiem.

10Statim namque in manibus eius et pedibus apparere coeperunt signa clavorum quemadmodum paulo ante in effigie illa viri crucifixi conspexerat. 11Manus enim et pedes in ipso medio clavis confixae videbantur, clavorum capitibus in interiore parte manuum et superiore pedum apparentibus, et eorum acuminibus exsistentibus ex adverso; 12erantque clavorum capita in manibus et pedibus rotunda et nigra, ipsa vero acumina oblonga, retorta et quasi repercussa, quae de ipsa carne surgentia carnem reliquam excedebant. 13Dextrum quoque latus quasi lancea transfixum, rubra cicatrice obductum erat, quod saepe sanguinem sacrum effundens, tunicam et femoralia respergebat.

4 1Cernens autem Christi servus, quod stigmata carni tam luculenter impressa socios familiares latere non possent, timens nihilominus publicare Domini sacramentum, in magno positus fuit dubitationis agone, utrum videlicet quod viderat diceret vel taceret. 2Vocavit proinde aliquos ex fratribus, et generalibus verbis loquens, dubium coram eis proposuit et consilium requisivit. 3Quidam vero ex fratribus, gratia Illuminatus et nomine, intelligens quod aliqua miranda vidisset, pro eo quod videbatur admodum stupefactus, dixit ad virum sanctum: 4« Frater, non solum propter te, verum etiam propter alios, scias tibi ostendi aliquando sacramenta divina. 5Timendum propterea iure videtur, ne si quod pluribus profuturum accepisti celaveris, pro talento abscondito reprehensibilis iudiceris ». 6Ad cuius verbum motus vir sanctus, licet alias dicere solitus esset: Secretum meum mihi, tunc tamen cum multo timore seriem retulit visionis praefatae, 7addens quod is, qui sibi apparuerat, aliqua dixerit, quae numquam dum viveret, alicui hominum aperiret.  8Credendum sane tam arcana illa fuisse sacri illius Seraph in cruce mirabiliter apparentis eloquia, quod forte non liceret hominibus ea loqui.

Francis of Assisi: Early Documents, vol. 2, p. 633