The Remembrance of the Desire of a Soul - 243 

marked him with a trace of mystical power.a
This observation is worthy of note:
among all those born of women
there has never been one greater than John
and among all the founders of religious communities
there has never been one more perfect than Francis.

4 John
prophesied enclosed within the hidden confines
of his mother’s womb.
Francis,
still unaware of God’s guidance
foretold things to come
while held in an earthly prison.

Once there was a great massacre in a war between the citizens of Perugia and Assisi.b Francis was captured along with many others, and, chained with the rest of them, endured the squalor of prison. His fellow captives were overcome with sadness, weeping bitterly over the fact of their imprisonment, but Francis rejoiced in the Lord, laughing and making fun of his chains. His unhappy companions rebuked him as he reveled in his chains, and thought he was out of his mind. Francis answered them prophetically: “What do you think makes me so happy? I’m thinking about something else: some day the whole world will worship me as a saint!” And now that is true; everything he said has been fulfilled.

Among the others who were then imprisoned with him there was an arrogant and utterly unbearable knight. Everyone else decided to avoid him but he could not wear down Francis’s patience; he tolerated the intolerable man and restored the others to peace with him.

What a chosen vessel of all virtues;
able to contain every grace !
Already he pours out charisms in all directions!

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Vita Secunda Sancti Francisci, Fontes Franciscani, p. 446-447


mysticae virtutis impressit sibi vestigium.
8Illo inter natos mulierum
non surrexit maior,
isto inter fundatores religionum
non surrexit perfectior.
9Observatio certe digna praeconio.

4 1Prophetavit Ioannes
intra secreta materni uteri clausus;
Franciscus
in carcere saeculi positus,
divini adhuc ignarus consilii,
futura praedixit.

2Et quidem cum inter Perusinos cives et Assisinates tempore quodam fieret non modica strages ex belli conflictu, capitur Franciscus cum pluribus, et convinculatus cum caeteris squalores carceris patitur. 3Absorbentur tristitia concaptivi, miserabiliter captivitatis suae plorantes eventum; exsultat Franciscus in Domino, vincula ridet et spernit. 4Dolentes arguunt iucundantem in vinculis, insanum reputant ac dementem 5Respondet Franciscus prophetice: « In quo exsultare me creditis? Meditatio alia subest: Adhuc sanctus adorabor per saeculum totum ». 6Revera sic est; impletum est omne quod dixit.

7Erat tunc inter reliquos concaptivos miles quidam superbus et importabilis valde, quem dum proponunt omnes abicere, patientia Francisci non frangitur. 8Intolerabilem tolerat et ad pacem eius revocat universos.

9Capax omnis gratiae,
vas electum virtutum
iam undique charismata manat.

Francis of Assisi: Early Documents, vol. 2, p. 243