The Minor Legend - 691 

mandate to preach penance, granted everything he asked, and promised generously to concede even more in the future.

Fifth Lesson

Strengthened then by grace from on high and by the authority of the Supreme Pontiff, Francis with great confidence took the road to the Spoleto valley. He wanted to teach by word and carry out by deed the truth of the evangelical perfection which he had conceived in his mind and solemnly vowed to profess. When the question was raised with his companions whether they should live among the people or go off to solitary places, he sought the pleasure of the divine will by the fervor of prayer.a Enlightened by a revelation from heaven, he realized that he was sent by the Lord to win for Christ souls which the devil was trying to snatch away. Discerning, therefore, he chose to live for everyone rather than for himself alone, he went to an abandoned hut near Assisi to live with his brothers according to the norm of holy poverty in every hardship of religious life and preach the word of God to the people whenever and wherever possible. Having been made a herald of the Gospel, he went about the cities and towns proclaiming the kingdom of God not in such words taught by human wisdom, but in the power of the Spirit with the Lord directing him by revelations as he spoke and confirming the preaching by the signs that followed. Mk 16:20

Sixth Lesson

Once, as was his custom, he was spending the night in prayer apart from his sons. Around midnight, while some of them were resting and others were praying, a fiery chariot of wonderful brilliance came through the little door of the brothers' dwelling. Over this chariot, which moved here and there three times throughout the little house, there rested a bright ball of light which resembled the sun. Those who were awake were stunned at this remarkable, brilliant sight. Those who were asleep were terrified and dumfounded. They experienced a brightness with their hearts as much as with their bodies, while the conscience of each was laid bare to the others by the power of that marvelous light. With one accord,




Legenda Minor, Fontes Franciscani, p. 975-976

5dedit de poenitentia praedicanda mandatum, postulata tunc cuncta concessit ac plura se concessurum in posterum liberaliter repromisit.

Lectio quinta.

5 1Fretus exinde gratia superna Franciscus Summique auctoritate Pontificis, cum fiducia multa versus vallem Spoletanam iter arripuit, ut perfectionis evangelicae veritatem, quam mente conceperat et professione devoverat, facto perficeret et verbo doceret. 2Mota quoque cum sociis quaestione huiusmodi, utrum inter homines conversari an ad loca solitaria se conferre deberent, cum per orationis instantiam divinum super hoc beneplacitum requisisset, supernae revelationis illustratus oraculo, intellexit se ad hoc missum a Domino, ut Christo lucraretur animas, quas diabolus conabatur auferre, 3ideoque magis omnibus quam sibi soli vivere praeeligendum esse decernens, recollegit se in quodam tugurio derelicto secus Assisium, ut ibi secundum sanctae paupertatis norrnam in omni Religionis districtione cum fratribus viveret et verbum Dei pro loco et tempore populis praedicaret. 4Factus igitur evangelicus praeco, civitates circuibat et castra, non in doctis humanae sapientiae verbis, sed in virtute Spiritus annuntiam regnum Dei, Domino dirigente loquentem revelationibus praeviis et sermonem confirmante sequentibus signis.

Lectio sexta.

6 1Cum enim semel, ut sibi moris erat, pervigil in oratione persisteret, corporaliter absentatus a filiis, circa mediam noctis horam, quibusdam e fratribus quiescentibus, quibusdam orantibus, currus igneus miri splendoris, super quem residebat et globus ad modum solaris aspectus praelucidus, per ostiolum habitaculi fratrum ipsorum ingrediens, huc atque illuc per domicilium tertio se convertit; 2ad cuius mirabilem et praeclarum contuitum stupefacti sunt vigilantes, excitati simul et exterriti dormientes nec minus senserunt cordis claritatem quam corporis, dum ex virtute mirandi luminis alterius alteri conscientia nuda fuit. 3Intellexerunt namque concorditer omnes,

Francis of Assisi: Early Documents, vol. 2, p. 691