The Remembrance of the Desire of a Soul - 386 

he showed by his example of virtue
that he had nothing in common with the world.

As he was wasted by that grave illness which ended all his suffer- ings, he had himself placed naked on the naked ground, so that in that final hour, when the Enemy could still rage, he might wrestle naked with the naked.a The fearless man awaited triumph and, with hands joined, held the crown of justice. Placed on the ground and stripped of his sackcloth garment, he lifted up his face to heaven as usual, and, totally intent upon that glory, Acts 7:55 he covered the wound on his right side with his left hand, so no one would see it. Then he said to his brothers: "I have done what is mine; may Christ teach you what is yours!"

215Seeing this, his sons wept streams of tears, drawing sighs from deep within, overwhelmed by sorrow and compassion.

Meanwhile, as their sobs somewhat subsided, his guardian, who by divine inspiration better understood the saint's wish, quickly got up, took the tunic, underwear and sackcloth hood, and said to the fa- ther: "I command you under holy obedience to acknowledge that I am lending you this tunic, underwear and hood. And so that you know that they in no way belong to you, I take away all your author- ity to give them to anyone." The saint rejoiced, and his heart leaped for joy seeing that he had kept faith until the end Mt 10:22 with Lady Poverty. For he had done all of this out of zeal for poverty, not wanting to have at the end even a habit of his own, but one borrowed from another. He had been wearing a sackcloth cap on his head to cover the scars he had received in the treatment of his eyes; what was really needed for this was a smooth cap of the softest and most expensive wool.

216After this the saint raised his hands to heaven
and glorified his Christ;
free now from all things, he was going to him free.

But in order to show himself in all things a true imitator of Christ, his God, he loved to the very end the brothers and sons he had loved Jn 13:1 from the beginning. He had them call to him all the brothers present there, and, comforting them about his death with words of consolation, he exhorted them to the love of God with fatherly affection. He spoke




Francis of Assisi: Early Documents, vol. 2, p. 386