A Mirror of the Perfection (The Sabatier Edition, 1928) - 318 

[Interpolation]a

Brother Leo, the companion and confessor of Saint Francis, wrote to Brother Conrad of Offidab the following account, claiming that he had it from the mouth of blessed Francis. This same Brother Conrad related this at San Damiano near Assisi.

Saint Francis was standing in prayer behind the pulpit in the church of Saint Mary of the Angels, with his hands raised on high, and he was crying out to Christ to have mercy on the people in the great calamity that was to come. And the Lord said: "Francis, if you want Me to have mercy on the Christian people, do this for Me. Let your Order remain in that state in which it was founded, because there is nothing else left in the world for Me. And I promise you that, for love of you and your Order, I will not permit any calamity to come upon the world.

"But, I tell you, that they must withdraw from the way on which I have set them. And they will provoke me to such great anger that I will rise up against them, and I will summon the demons and give them all the power that they wanted. And they will place such scandal between them and the world that no one will be able to wear your habit except in the woods. And when the world loses the faith of your Order, light will no longer remain, because I have set them as the light of the world." Mt 5:14

And Saint Francis said: "How will my brothers who dwell in the woods survive?"

Christ answered: "I will feed them as I fed the children of Israel with manna in the desert, because they will be as good as they were, and then they will return to the original state in which it was founded and began."

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Speculum Perfectionis, Fontes Franciscani, p.


Francis of Assisi: Early Documents, vol. 3, p. 318