The Treatise on the Miracles of Saint Francis - 401 

Chapter II

2The new man, Eph 4:24 Francis,
became famous for a new and stupendous miracle.
By a singular privilege, not granted in previous ages,
he appeared marked,
adorned with the sacred stigmata,
and conformed in this body of death
to the body of the Crucified.

Whatever human speech can say about this will be less than the praise it deserves. No explanation should be demanded, because it was a wonder. No example should be sought, because it was unique.a

All the striving of this man of God, 1 Sm 9:6 whether in public or in private, revolved around the cross of the Lord. From the earliest days when he began his knightly service for the Crucified, various mysteries of the cross shone around him. At the beginning of his conversion, when he had decided to take leave of the allurements of this life, Christ spoke to him from the wood of the cross while he prayed. From the mouth of Christ's image a voice declared: "Francis, go, rebuild my house, which, as you see, it is all being destroyed." From that moment the memory of the Lord's passion was stamped on his heart with a deep brand-mark, and as conversion reached his deepest self, his soul began to melt, as his beloved spoke. And he also enclosed himself in the cross itself when he put on the habit of a penitent, bearing the image of the cross.

Though for him the more the habit reflected poverty,
the more appropriate it would be to his plan,
the saint approved in it even more the mystery of the cross,
because just as, internally, his mind had put on Gal 3:27 the crucified Lord,
so, externally, his whole body put on the cross of Christ. Gal 6:14
And, in the sign
by which God had vanquished the powers of the air
his army would battle for God.

3Brother Sylvester, one of his brothers, a man of the greatest discipline in everything, saw coming forth from the saint's mouth a




Francis of Assisi: Early Documents, vol. 2, p. 401