The Life of Blessed Francis - 644 

and that most holy soul was released from the flesh
and absorbed into the abyss of the divine light,
the blessed man fell asleep in the Lord. Acts 7:60
One of his brothers and followers saw that blessed soul
under the appearance of a radiant star
carried up on a shining cloud Rv 14:14
to be borne aloft straight to heaven over many waters,
as if shining with the brightness of sublime sanctity,
and filled with the abundance of heavenly wisdom and grace,
by which the holy man merited to enter
the place of light and peace where he rests with Christ forever.

At that time the minister of the brothers in Terra di Lavoro was Brother Augustine, a man both holy and upright, who was in his last hour and had already for some time lost his speech. In the hearing of those who were standing about: he suddenly cried out: "Wait for me, father, wait! Look, I'm coming with you!" The amazed brothers asked him to whom he was speaking so boldly. And he replied: "Don't you see our father Francis going to heaven?" And immediately his holy soul, leaving the flesh, followed the most holy father.

At that time the bishop of Assisi had been at the shrine of Saint Michael on Monte Gargano because of a pilgrimage. Blessed Francis appeared to him on the night of his passing and said: "Behold, I am leaving the world and am going to heaven." When he rose in the morning, the bishop told his companions what he had seen, and returning to Assisi, he carefully inquired and found out with certainty that the blessed father had departed this world at the very hour when he appeared to him in this vision.

Larks are birds,
friends of the light dreading the shadows of dusk.
At the hour of the holy man's passing,
when it was already twilight of the falling night,
they gathered in a great flock over the roof of the house
and, circling around for a long time with unusual joy,
they offered testimony,
giving delight as well as confirmation,
of the glory of the saint,
who so often had invited them to divine praise.

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Legenda Maior, Fontes Franciscani, p. 903-905


anima illa sanctissima carne soluta
et in abyssum divinae claritatis absorpta,
beatus vir obdormivit in Domino.
2Unus autem ex fratribus et discipulis eius vidit animam illam beatam,
sub specie stellae praefulgidae
a candida subvectam nubecula
super aquas multas in caelum recto tramite sursum ferri,
tamquam sublimis sanctitatis candore praenitidam
et caelestis sapientiae simul et gratiae ubertate repletam,
quibus vir sanctus promeruit
locum introire lucis et pacis,
ubi cum Christo sine fine quiescit.

3Minister quoque fratrum in Terra Laboris tunc erat frater Augustinus, vir utique sanctus et iustus, qui in hora ultima positus, cum diu iam pridem amisisset loquelam, audientibus qui astabant, subito clamavit et dixit: 4« Exspecta me, pater, exspecta, ecce, iam venio tecum! ». 5Quaerentibus fratribus et admirantibus multum, cui sic loqueretur audacter, respondit: « Nonne videtis patrem nostrum Franciscum, qui vadit ad caelum? ». 6Et statim sancta ipsius anima, migrans a carne, patrem est secuta sanctissimum.

7Episcopus Assisinas ad oratorium Sancti Michaelis in Monte Gargano tunc temporis peregrinationis causa perrexerat, cui beatus Franciscus, apparens nocte transitus sui, dixit: « Ecce, relinquo mundum et vado ad caelum ». 8Mane igitur surgens, episcopus sociis narravit quae vidit, et Assisium rediens, cum sollicite perquisisset, certitudinaliter comperit, quod ea hora, qua sibi per visionem innotuit, beatus Pater ex hoc mundo migravit.

9Alaudae aves,
lucis amicae et crepusculorum tenebras horrescentes,
hora transitus sancti viri,
cum iam esset noctis secuturae crupusculum,
venerunt in multitudine magna supra tectum domus
10et diu cum insolita quadam iubilatione rotantes,
gloriae Sancti,
qui eas ad divinam laudem invitare solitus erat,
tam iucundum quam evidens
testimonium perhibebant.

Francis of Assisi: Early Documents, vol. 2, p. 644