The Life of Blessed Francis - 643 

Naked he lingered before the bishop
at the beginning of his conversion;
and, for this reason,
at the end of his life,
he wanted to leave this world naked.

And so he charged the brothers assisting him,
under the obedience of love,
that when they saw he was dead,
they should allow him to lie naked on the ground
for as long as it takes to walk a leisurely mile.

O truly the most Christian of men,
who strove by perfect imitation to be conformed
while living to Christ living,
dying to Christ dying,
and dead to Christ dead,
and deserved to be adorned
with an expressed likeness!

5When the hour of his passing was approaching, he had all the brothers staying in the place called to him and, comforting them about his death with words of consolation, he exhorted them to divine love with fatherly affection. He spoke at length about preserving poverty and patience and the faith of the holy Roman Church, placing the holy Gospel ahead of other observances. As all the brothers sat around him, he stretched his hand over Gn 48:14 them, crossing his arms in the form of a cross, for he always loved this sign. And he blessed all the brothers, both present and absent, in the name and power of the Crucified. Then he added: "Good bye, all my sons, in the fear of the Lord! Remain Tb 2:14 in Him always! Because a trial and tribulation Sir 27:6 is coming in the future, happy are they who will persevere in those things they have begun. I am hurrying to God, to whose grace I entrust all of you." When he finished this gentle admonition, the man most beloved of God ordered the Book of the Gospels brought to him and asked that the Gospel according to John be read to him from the place that begins: Before the feast of Passover. Jn 13:1 He, as best he could, broke out in this psalm: With my voice I cried to the Lord; With my voice I beseeched the Lord; Ps 142:2 [Vulgate, Ps 141:2]and he finished it to the end. The just, he said, will await me until you have rewarded me.

6At last,
when all of the mysteries were fulfilled in him

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Legenda Maior, Fontes Franciscani, p. 902-903


6Propter quod
et in principio conversionis suae
nudus remansit coram antistite
et in consummatione vitae
nudus voluit de mundo exire,

7fratribusque sibi assistentibus
in obedientia caritatis iniunxit,
ut, cum viderent eum iam esse defunctum,
per tam longum spatium nudum super humum iacere permitterent,
quod unius milliarii tractum suaviter quis perficere posset.

8O vere christianissimum virum,
qui et vivens Christo viventi
et moriens morienti
et mortuus mortuo
perfecta esse studuit imitatione conformis
et expressa promeruit
similitudine decorari!

5 1Hora denique sui transitus propinquante, fecit omnes fratres exsistentes in loco ad se vocari, et eos consolatoriis verbis pro sua morte demulcens, paterno affectu ad divinum est hortatus amorem. 2De patientia et paupertate et sanctae Romanae Ecclesiae fide servandis sermonem protraxit, ceteris institutis sanctum Evangelium anteponens. 3Circumsedentibus vero omnibus fratribus, extendit super eos manus in modum crucis brachiis cancellatis, pro eo quod hoc signum semper amabat, et omnibus fratribus, tam praesentibus quam absentibus, in Crucifixi virtute ac nomine benedixit. 4Insuper et adiecit: « Valete, filii omnes, in timore Domini et permanete in eo semper. 5Et quoniam futura tentatio et tribulatio appropinquat, felices, qui perseverabunt in his quae coeperunt. 6Ego vero ad Deum propero, cuius gratiae vos omnes commendo ». 7Suavi huiusmodi admonitione completa iussit vir Deo carissimus, Evangeliorum sibi codicem apportari et Evangelium secundum Ioannem, quod incipit ab eo loco: Ante diem festum Paschae, sibi legi poposcit. 8Ipse vero prout potuit in huius Psalmi vocem erupit: Voce mea ad Dominum clamavi, voce mea ad Dominum deprecatus sum, et ad finem usque complevit: Me, inquit, exspectant iusti, donec retribuas mihi.

6 1Tandem
cunctis in eum completis mysteriis,

Francis of Assisi: Early Documents, vol. 2, p. 643