The Remembrance of the Desire of a Soul - 246 

while Francis turned his fleshly weapons into spiritual ones,
and, instead of knightly glory,
 received a divine rank.a
To the many who marveled at his unusual joy,
he said that he was going to become a great prince.

Chapter III
HOW A CROWD OF YOUNG PEOPLE
CHOSE HIM AS THEIR LORD SO THAT HE WOULD FEED THEM,
AND HOW HE CHANGED.

7 He started to change into the perfect man,
and became a different person.b
When he returned home,
the sons of Babylon followed him,
and dragged him, though unwilling, in one direction
while he was heading in another.

Earlier he had been the ringleader of Assisi’s frivolous young crowd. They still invited him to their dinner parties, in which the suggestive and vulgar were always served. They chose him as their leader, since they had often experienced his generosity, and knew for sure he would pay all their expenses. They made themselves obedient so they could fill their bellies, and made themselves subject so they could gorge themselves. Not wanting to seem stingy, Francis did not reject the honor. Even while meditating on sacred things, he maintained his courtly manners. He set out a sumptuous dinner, with double portions of the most elegant food, and stuffed to the point of vomiting, they dirtied the streets of the town with their drunken songs. As their lord, bearing a staff in his hands, Francis followed them. But gradually he withdrew bodily as he had already mentally turned deaf to those things, while he sang to the Lord in his heart.

So much divine sweetness poured over him—as he later recounted—that he was struck dumb and could not move. A burst of spiritual energy rushed through him, snatching him into the un

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Vita Secunda Sancti Francisci, Fontes Franciscani, p. 448-449


Franciscus vero arma carnalia in spiritualia vertit,
et pro militari gloria
divinum suscipit praesidatum.
11Stupentibus itaque multis laetitiam eius insolitam,
dicebat se magnum principem affuturum.

Caput III
Qualiter eum iuvenum turba,
ut eos pasceret, suum dominuni statuit,
et de sua mutatione.

7 1Incipit transformari in virum perfectum,
et alter ex altero fieri.
2Regressus igitur domum,
sequuntur eum filii Babylonis,
et alio tendentem trahunt
ad alia vel invitum.

3Nam iuvenum turba civitatis Assisii, quae ipsum olim habuerat suae vanitatis praeambulum, addit adhuc eum ad socialia prandia invitare, in quibus lasciviae semper et scurrilitati servitur. 4Eligitur ab eis in ducem, experta saepius liberalitate ipsius, qua indubitanter sciebant ipsum expensas pro omnibus soluturum . 5Obedientes se faciunt ut impleant ventrem, et patiuntur subici ut valeant saturari. 6Non respuit oblatum decus, ne notetur avarus, et inter meditationes sacras curialitatis est memor. 7Sumptuosum praeparat prandium, cibari a sapida duplicat, quibus repleti ad vomitum, plateas civitatis e ebriis cantilenis commaculant. 8Sequitur Franciscus, ut dominus manibus baculum gestans; sed paulatim ab eis se corpore subtrahit, qui mente iam tota totus ad illa surduerat, corde Domino canens.

9Tanta, ut idem retulit, tune fuit dulcedine divina perfusus, ut effari non valens, penitus de loco moveri non posset. 10Quaedam eum pervasit tunc affectio spiritualis, ipsum ad invisibilia raptans,

Francis of Assisi: Early Documents, vol. 2, p. 246