The Minor Legend - 693 

and the glittering sight of it put that foul and hideous dragon to flight forever. While this vision was being shown to Sylvester for the third time, this pious man, who was devoted to God, understood that Francis was destined by the Lord to take up the standard of the glorious cross, to shatter the power of the evil dragon, and to enlighten the minds of the faithful with the glorious and splendid truths of both life and teaching. Not long after he gave an account of all this to the man of God and his brothers, he left the world. In accord with the example of his blessed father, he clung to the footsteps of Christ with such perseverance that his life in the Order confirmed the authenticity of the vision which he had in the world.

Ninth Lesson

When he was still living the secular life, a certain brother whose name was Pacifico, found the servant of God at San Severino where he was preaching in a monastery. The hand of the Lord came upon him, Ez 1:3 and he saw Francis marked with two bright shining swords intersecting in the shape of a cross. One of them stretched from his head to his feet, and the other across his chest from one hand to the other. He did not know the man by sight, but once he had been pointed out by such a miracle, he recognized him immediately. He was exceedingly amazed, frightened, and goaded by the power of his words. Pierced as it were by a spiritual sword coming from his mouth, he completely despised worldly displays and joined himself to his blessed father by profession. Afterwards, he made progress in every moral aspect of religion. Before he became minister in France, as indeed he was the first to hold the office of minister there, he merited to see a great Tau on Francis's forehead, which displayed a variety of different colors that caused his face to glow with wonderful beauty. The man of God venerated this symbol with great affection.a He often spoke of it with eloquence and used it at the beginning of any action. In those letters which out of charity he sent, he signed it with his own hand. It was as if his whole desire were, according to the prophetic text, to mark with a Tau the foreheads of those moaning and grieving, of those truly converted to Jesus Christ.

 Previous

Next 

 

Legenda Minor, Fontes Franciscani, p. 978-979


cuiusque aspectus praefulgidus draconem illum tetrum et horridum penitus effugabat. 3Hoc dum sibi tertio monstraretur, intellexit vir pius et Deo devotus, ad hoc Franciscum destinatum a Domino, ut, gloriosae crucis assumpto vexillo, draconis maligni robur elideret praeclarisque veritatis fulgoribus tam doctrinae quam vitae mentes fidelium illustraret. 4Quod cum viro Dei et fratribus narrasset per ordinem, non multo post tempore mundum relinquens, vestigiis Christi beati Patris exemplo sic perseveranter adhaesit, quod ipsius vita in Ordine authenticam reddidit eam quam in saeculo habuerat visionem.

Lectio nona.

9 1Frater quidam, Pacificus nomine, cum adhuc saeculariter vivens famulum Domini reperisset apud castrum Sancti Severini praedicantem in monasterio quodam, facta manu Domini super se, vidit eumdem quasi duobus transversis ensibus valde fulgentibus in modum, crucis signatum, quorum unus a capite usque ad pedes, alius a manu in manum per pectus transversaliter tendebatur. 2Non noverat facie virum, sed tanto monstratum miraculo mox cognoscens, vehementer obstupuit, verborumque ipsius virtute compunctus et territus, tamquam si esset gladio spiritus ex eius ore procedente transfixus, saecularibus pompis omnino contemptis, beato Patri professione cohaesit. 3Hic postmodum in omni Religionis sanctitate proficiens, antequam fieret Minister in Francia, siquidem primus ibidem ministerii gessit officium, meruit magnum. Thau in fronte Francisci videre, quod colorum varietate distinctum, faciem ipsius miro venustabat ornatu. 4Hoc quippe signum vir Dei magno venerabatur affectu, frequenti commendabat eloquio, actionum praemittebat initiis, 5et in eis quas dirigebat ex caritate litterulis manu propria subscribebat, tamquam si omne ipsius studium foret iuxta propheticum dictum signare Thau super frontes virorum gementium et dolentium, ad Christum Iesum veraciter conversorum.

Francis of Assisi: Early Documents, vol. 2, p. 693