The Remembrance of the Desire of a Soul - 250 

Who could ever doubt that Francis,
as he returned to his homeland,
already appeared crucified?
Christ spoke to him from the wood of the cross
in a new and unheard of miracle,a
even when to all appearances,
he had not yet completely forsaken the world.
From that very hour
his soul melted
as the Beloved spoke to him.
A little while afterward
his heart’s love
showed in the wounds of his body.

From then on, he could not hold back his tears, even weeping loudly over the Passion of Christ, as if it were constantly before his eyes. He filled the roads with his sobbing, and, as he remembered the wounds of Christ, he would take no comfort. Once, upon meeting a close friend, he explained the reason for this sorrow, moving him also to bitter tears.

He does not forget to care for that holy image
nor hesitate to carry out the command.
He gives the priest money to buy a lamp and some oil,
lest the sacred image lack, even for a moment, the honor of light.
He then runs quickly to fulfill the rest,
working tirelessly to rebuild that church.
Although the divine word spoken to him
was really about that Church
which Christ acquired with His own blood, b
he did not immediately reach that level,
but moved gradually from flesh to spirit.




Vita Secunda Sancti Francisci, Fontes Franciscani, p. 453

3Quis Franciscum
iam redeuntem ad patriam
apparuisse dubitat crucifixum,
cui, adhuc mundo plene
exterius non contempto,
novo et inaudito miraculo
de ligno crucis loquitur Christus?
4Ab ea igitur hora
liquefacta est anima eius,
ut dilectus ei locutus est.
5Patuit paulo post
amor cordis
per vulnera corporis.

6Nequit ex tunc propterea continere a fletu, etiam alta voce Christi passionem quasi semper coram oculis positam plangit. 7Replet gemitibus vias, nullam consolationem admittit recordans plagarum Christi. 8Intimum sibi obvium. habuit quemdam amicum, cui causa patefacta doloris, statim amicus dire provocatur ad lacrimas.

9Verum sanctae illius imaginis non obliviscitur gerere curam,
nec mandatum eius aliqua negligentia praeterit.
10Extemplo dat cuidam sacerdoti pecuniam, ut lampadem emat et oleum,
ne sacra imago vel ad momentum debito luminis honore fraudetur.
11Impiger deinde ad perficienda reliqua currit,
reparandae illius ecclesiae indefectibilem operam praebens.
12Nam licet
de illa Ecclesia divinis sibi factus sit sermo
quam Christus proprio sanguine acquisivit,
noluit repente fieri summus,
paulatim de carne transiturus ad spiritum.

Francis of Assisi: Early Documents, vol. 2, p. 250