A Book of the Praises of Saint Francis (1277-1283) - 49 

Chapter VI

1The holy man always insisted on progress in doing good, remembering that the lukewarm, who do not apply themselves constantly to some work, would be quickly vomited out of the Lord's mouth. No idler could appear in his presence without feeling the sharp bite of his criticism. He wished his brothers to apply themselves always to prayer or to some good work.

4He rejoiced upon hearing that the brothers in a hermitage in Spain had so divided their time, that one part of the week was dedicated to care of household chores, and the other to contemplation. There, one day, when one of those contemplating did not come to table, he was found in his cell lying on his face on the ground, stretched out in the form of a cross, and showing no signs of life; not a breath or a motion. At his head and at his feet there flamed twin candelabra, which lit up the cell with a wonderful golden light. After the light unexpectedly disappeared, he was left in peace; the brother returned to his human self, immediately came to the table, and confessed his fault for being late.

7The saint used to speak against the disease of acedia: "When a servant of God gets disturbed about something, as often happens, he must get up at once to pray and remain before the most High Father until he gives back to him the joy of his salvation."

8He was occupied as the occasion demanded with preaching and with the salvation of his neighbors. How much he accomplished in teaching and the people's conversion is known to God alone, who opened the Scriptures to him so that he could understand and teach them.

10A cardinal, questioning him about some obscurities, said: "I'm not asking you as a scholar, but as a person who has the Spirit of God, 1 Cor 7:40 and so I gladly accept the meaning in your answer, because I know it comes from God alone."

11When asked about the words of Ezekiel: If you do not warn the wicked man about his wickedness, I will hold you responsible for his soul, whether we are bound to warn each one whom we know to be in mortal sin, he said: "If that passage is supposed to be understood in a universal sense, then I understand it to mean that a servant of God




Liber de Laudibus Beati Francisci, Fontes Franciscani, p. 1270-1271

Caput VI
De occupatione.

6 1Instabat vir sanctus semper in bono proficere, tepidos et nulli se negotio familiariter applicantes cito ex ore Domini evomendos esse commemorans. 2Nullus apparere coram eo poterat otiosus, quin mordaci eum dente corrigeret. 3Volebat, ut fratres semper vel orationi, vel alicui bonae operationi vacarent.

4Gavisus est audiens, fratres in quodam eremitorio Hispaniae ad hoc sic divisisse tempus, ut hebdomadis pars una curae domesticae, altera contemplationi vacaret. 5Ubi die quadam, cum unus de contemplantibus non venisset ad mensam, inventus est in cella humi prostratus et in modum crucis extensus nec anhelitu nec motu, quod vivus esset, apparens, ardebat ad caput eius et pedes unum candelabrum cellam fulgore miro modo illustrans; 6dimissus in pace, lumine subito disparente, redit frater in hominem et ad mensam protinus veniens dixit culpam suam de mora.

7Contra morbum accidiae Sanctus dicebat: « Servus Dei pro aliquo, ut assolet, perturbatus illico ad orationem surgere debet et tamdiu coram summo Patre persistere, donee reddat ei sui salutaris laetitiam ».

8Occupabatur pro tempore circa praedicationem et proximorum salutem. 9Quantum enim in doctrina et hominum conversione profecerit, soli notum est Deo, qui ad docendum, et intelligendum Scripturas aperuit ei sensum.

10Quidam Cardinalis de obscuris eum interrogans dixit: « Ego te non tamquam litteratum, sed tamquam spiritum Dei habentem interrogo et tuae responsionis intellectum libenter accipio, quia ipsum a solo Deo scio procedere »

11De illo verbo Ezechielis: Si non annuntiaveris impio impietatem suam, animam eius de manu tua requiram, interrogatus, an singulis, quos in mortali esse scimus, annuntiare teneamur, dixit: 12« Si verbum universaliter debet intelligi, taliter ego accipio, quod servus Dei sic debet vita et sanctitate ardere in se,

Francis of Assisi: Early Documents, vol. 3, p. 49