A Book of the Praises of Saint Francis (1277-1283) - 34 

three others.a The Lord touched his lips with a cleansing coal so that, even though he was a lay brother, he understood and interpreted Scripture, uttering words about Jesus that flowed with honey. We have heard that of Francis's first twelve disciples, for whom he also wrote a ruleb and almost the same mandates that Christ gave to his Apostles, all were holy men except one.c Leaving the Order he became leprous and, like another Judas, died by hanging, so that even in his disciples the similarity of Francis to Christ might not be wanting.

12It was no insignificant grace that, when he had only six brothers, there was infused in him such certitude of the Order's spreading throughout the world, that he saw the future as though it were present. And he said to the brothers: "I saw the roads filled with the multitude of those coming to us. They are coming from France; Spaniards are hurrying, Germans and English are running, and a huge crowd speaking other languages is rapidly approaching."d He differentiated the brothers of the early and late periods of time under the metaphor of fruit that is more or less sweet.

15Holy brothers and fathers, renowned for great virtue, flourished even among the first brothers: such as, Brother Soldanerio,e Brother Roger,f




Liber de Laudibus Beati Francisci, Fontes Franciscani, p. 1254-1255

9Tribus sequentibus aliis frater Philippus apponitur, cuius labia munditiae calculo Dominus tetigit, ut, quamvis laicus, Scripturas intelligens et interpretans verba de Iesu melliflua eructaret. 10Denique primos XII Francisci discipulos, quibus et regulam scripsit et eadem pene mandata, quae Christus Apostolis suis dedit, omnes sanctos fuisse audivimus praeter unum, 11qui Ordinem exiens, leprosus factus, laqueo ut alter ludas interiit, ne Francisci cum Christo vel in discipulis similitudo deficeret.

12Sed haec non immediocris gratia fuit, quod ei nondum nisi sex fratres habenti tanta dilatandi per orbem Ordinis infusa est certitudo, ut futura quasi praesentia intuens fratribus diceret: 13« Vidi plenas venientium ad nos multitudine vias; veniunt Franciginae, festinant Hispani, Theutonici et Anglici currunt et aliarum diversarum linguarum accelerat maxima multitudo ». 14Fratres etiam primi et ultimi temporis sub metaphora magis minusque suavium pomorum distinxerit.

15Fulserunt et inter primos magnis clari virtutibus sancti fratres et patres: frater Soldanerius, frater Rogerius,

Francis of Assisi: Early Documents, vol. 3, p. 34