The Life of Blessed Francis - 641 

not only did the flesh not resist,
it
even tried to run ahead.

2In order that his merits might increase,
for these are brought to perfection in patience,
the man of God started to suffer from various illnesses,
so seriously that scarcely the rest of his body
remained without intense pain and suffering.
Through varied, long-lasting, and continual illness
he was brought to the point
where his flesh was already all consumed, Jb 19:20
as if only skin clung to his bones.
But when he was tortured by harsh bodily suffering,
he called his tribulations not by the name of "pains"
but of "Sisters."

Once when he was suffering more intensely than usual, a certain brother in his simplicity told him: "Brother, pray to the Lord that he treat you more mildly, for he seems to have laid his hand on you more heavily than he should." At these words, the holy man wailed and cried out: "If I did not know your simplicity and sincerity, then I would from now on shrink from your company because you dared to judge God's judgments upon me as reprehensible." Even though he was completely worn out by his prolonged and serious illness, he threw himself on the ground, bruising his weakened bones in the hard fall. Kissing the ground, he said: "I thank you, Lord God, for all these sufferings of mine; and I ask you, my Lord, if it pleases you, to increase them a hundredfold. Because it will be most acceptable to me, that you do not spare me, afflicting me with suffering, since the fulfillment of your will is an overflowing consolation for me."

So it seemed to the brothers, therefore,
that they were almost seeing another Job,
for whom, as the weariness of his flesh was increasing,
so too was the vigor of his soul.
He knew long in advance the time of his death,
and as the day of his passing grew near,
he told the brothers that
laying aside the tent of his body was at hand,
as it had been revealed to him by Christ.

3For two years after the imprinting of the sacred stigmata
that is, in the twentieth year of his conversion,

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Legenda Maior, Fontes Franciscani, p. 899-900


ipsa non solum non repugnaret,
sed et praecurrere conaretur.

2 1Ut autem viro Dei cumulus meritorum accresceret,
quae omnia vere in patientia consummantur,
coepit infirmitatibus multimodis laborare tam graviter,
ut vix in eo membrum aliquod
remaneret absque ingenti passionis dolore.
2Ad hoc tandem per varias et diuturnas ac continuas aegritudines
deductus est,
ut consumptis iam carnibus
quasi sola cutis ossibus cohaereret.
3Cumque duris corporis angeretur doloribus,
illas suas angustias non poenarum censebat nomine,
sed sororum.

4Cum autem semel gravius solito dolorum urgeretur aculeis, quidam frater simplex dicit ad eum: « Frater, ora Dominum, ut mitius tecum agat, manum enim suam plus debito super te gravare videtur ». 5Quo audito, vir sanctus cum eiulatu exclamans ait: « Nisi nossem in te simplicem puritatem, tuum ex nunc abhorrerem consortium, qui ausus fueris circa me divina iudicia reprehensibilia iudicare ». 6Et licet totus esset attritus gravis prolixitate languoris, proiciens se in terram, ossa debilia duro casu collisit. 7Et deosculans humum: « Gratias », inquit, « tibi ago, Domine Deus, de omnibus his doloribus meis teque, mi Domine, rogo ut centuplum, si tibi placuerit, addas; 8quia hoc erit mihi acceptissimum, ut affligens me dolore, non parcas, cum tuae sanctae voluntatis adimpletio sit mihi consolatio superplena ».

9Videbatur propterea fratribus,
quod quasi alterum Iob viderent,
cui cum languor cresceret carnis,
crescebat simul et vigor mentis.
10Ipse autem obitum suum longe ante praescivit,
dieque transitus imminente,
dixit fratribus
sui corporis tabernaculum deponendum in proximo,
quemadmodum sibi fuerat revelatum a Christo.

3 1Cum itaque per biennium ab impressione sacrorum stigmatum,
anno videlicet a sua conversione vigesimo,

Francis of Assisi: Early Documents, vol. 2, p. 641