The Remembrance of the Desire of a Soul - 245 

having carried out Christ’s commanda
deserved to be visited by Christ in a vision.b
Martin was praised for his perfection
 and Francis was graciously invited to what was still missing.

6 A little later, he saw in a vision a beautiful palace, and there he saw various suits of armor and a lovely bride.c In that same dream Francis was called by name and was attracted by the promise of all these things. He therefore tried to go to Apuliad in order to gain knighthood, and richly outfitted, he hastened to achieve the honors of knightly rank. The spirit of the flesh prompted him to give an interpretation of the flesh to the vision. In fact, in the treasury of God’s wisdom something even more magnificent was hidden there.

As he slept one night, someone spoke to him a second time in a vision and asked him with concern where he was going. He explained his plan and said he was going to Apulia to become a knight. The other questioned him anxiously “Who can do more for you, the servant or the lord?” “The lord!” said Francis. “Then why do you seek the servant instead of the lord?” Francis then asked: “Lord, what do you want me to do?” And the Lord said to him: “Go back to the land of your birth because I will fulfill your dream in a spiritual way.”

He turned back without delay
becoming even now a model of obedience.
Giving up his own will
he changed from Saul to Paul.
Paul was thrown to the ground
and his stinging lashes bore fruit in soothing words;e




Vita Secunda Sancti Francisci, Fontes Franciscani, p. 448

Christi perfecto mandato,
visitari a Christo per visionem commeruit,
unus de perfectione laudatus,
alter ad id quod deerat dignantissime invitatus.

6 1Nam palatium speciosum sibi mox in visione ostenditur, in quo varios apparatus armorum et sponsam pulcherrimam cernit. 2Vocatur in somnis Franciscus ex nomine, et horum omnium promissione allicitur. 3Tentat itaque pro capessenda militia in Apuliam ire, et opulenter necessariis praeparatis, festinat gradum militaris honoris contingere. 4Carnalem interpretationem praeteritae visionis carnalis ei spiritus suggerebat, cum in thesauris sapientiae Dei longe lateret praeclarior.

5Dormientem siquidem nocte quadam, quidam ipsum secundo per visionem alloquitur, et quo tendere velit sollicite perscrutatur. 6Cui cum suum enarrasset propositum, et in Apuliam militaturum proficisci se diceret, interrogatus ab eodem sollicite: quis sibi melius facere queat, servus an dominus? Franciscus: « Dominus », inquit. 7Et ille: « Cur ergo servum pro domino quaeris? ». Et Franciscus: « Quid me vis facere, Domine? ». 8Et Dominus ad eum: « Revertere », ait, « ad terram nativitatis tuae, quia visionis tuae erit per me spiritualis impletio ».

9Revertitur absque mora,
iam forma obedientiae factus,
et propriam abdicans voluntatem
de Saulo Paulus efficitur.
10Prosternitur ille,
et verbera dura verba dulcia gignunt;

Francis of Assisi: Early Documents, vol. 2, p. 245