A Mirror of the Perfection (The Lemmons Edition, 1901) - 226 

We who were with him witnessed this often with our own eyes. Frequently, when some of the brothers did not provide for his needs, or said something to him that would ordinarily offend a person, he would immediately go to prayer. On returning, he did not want to remember it by saying "Brother so-and-so did not provide for me," or "He said such-and-such to me."


Moreover, one time during his sickness, for the sake of greater perfection and poverty, he resigned as the general minister for all his companions, saying: "I do not wish to have a special companion; but for the love of the Lord God, brothers can go with me from place to place and provide for me as the Lord inspires them." And he added: "I have seen a blind man who had no guide for his journey except one little dog." Thus, the closer he approached death, the more careful in complete perfection he became in considering how he might live and die in complete humility and poverty.


The day Lady Jacoba prepared that confection for blessed Francis, the father remembered Bernard. "Brother Bernard likes this confection," he said to his companions. Calling one of his companions, he told him "Go, tell Brother Bernard to come to me immediately." The brother went at once and brought him to blessed Francis. Sitting next to the bed where blessed Francis was lying, Brother Bernard said: "Father! I beg you, bless me and show me your love. I believe that, if you show me your love with fatherly affection, God Himself and the other brothers of the religion will love me more."

Blessed Francis was not able to see him, since for many days he had lost his sight. Extending his right hand, he placed it on the head Gn 48:14 of Brother Giles, the third of the first brothers, who at that moment was sitting next to Brother Bernard. He thought he was placing it on the head of Brother Bernard. Feeling the head of Brother Giles, like a person going blind, he immediately recognized him by the Holy Spirit, and said, "This is not the head of my Brother Bernard."a

Brother Bernard immediately drew himself closer to him. Blessed Francis, placing his hand on his head, blessed him. "Write what I tell you," he then said to one of his companions. "Brother Bernard was the first brother the Lord gave me. He began first and most perfectly




Speculum Perfectionis (minus), Fontes Franciscani, p. 1769-1771

9Hoc vidimus oculis nostris multotiens nos, qui fuimus cum illo, sicut sanctus pater attestabatur, quod multotiens, cum aliqui fratres non satisfacerent ei in suis necessitatibus vel dicerent ei aliquod verbum, vel per quod solet homo moveri ad scandalum, statim ibat ad orationem et in reversione sua nolebat recordari dicens: 10« Talis frater non michi satisfecit », vel: « Dixit michi tale verbum ».


1Immo quodam tempore sue infirmitatis propter maiorem perfectionem et paupertatem omnes suos socios resignavit ministro generali dicens : 2« Nolo habere specialem socium, sed propter amorem Domini Dei fratres de loco ad locum michi provideant et me associent, sicut Dominus inspiraverit eis ». 3Et ait: « Vidi iam cecum, qui non habebat nisi caniculam pro duce itineris sui ». 4Unde, quanto magis morti appropinquabat, tanto magis erat sollicitus in omni perfectione considerare, quomodo in omni humilitate et paupertate vivere posset.


1In die, qua Iacoba paravit illam comestionem beato Francisco, recordatus est pater fratris Bernardi, dicens sociis suis: « Hec comestio est bona pro fratre Bernardo ». 2Et vocans ad se unum de sociis suis dixit ei: « Vade, dicas fratri Bernardo, quod statim veniat ad me ». 3Ivit statim frater ille Assisium, ubi erat Bernardus, et duxit ad beatum Franciscum. 4Et sedens coram lecto, ubi iacebat beatus Franciscus, dixit frater Bernardus: « Pater, rogo, ut michi benedicas et ostendas michi dilectionem, quoniam, si p[atern]ali affectione in me ostendis dilectionem, credo, quod ipse Deus et ceteri fratres de religione amplius me amabunt ».

5Beatus Franciscus non poterat ipsum videre, quoniam per multos dies lumen amiserat oculorum; sed extendens posuit dexteram super caput a fratris Egidii, qui fuit tertius primorum frater et sedebat tunc iuxta fratrem Bernardum, credens ipsam ponere super caput fratris Bernardi 6et tangens caput fratris Egidii, sicut homo cecutiens, statim cognovit per Spiritum Sanctum dicens: « Hoc non est caput fratris mei Bernardi ».

7Frater Bernardus appropinquavit statim se magis ipsi. 8Beatus Franciscus ponens manum suam super caput ipsius benedixit ipsum. 9Insuper dixit uni de sociis suis beatus Franciscus: « Scribe, sicut dico tibi: Primus frater quem dedit michi Dominus, fuit frater Bernardus, et qui primo incepit et complevit perfectissime perfectionem

Francis of Assisi: Early Documents, vol. 3, p. 226