A Mirror of the Perfection (The Sabatier Edition, 1928) - 355 

And, through the grace of God and the merits of blessed Francis, he was immediately freed from that great trial. From then on, he lived in the greatest serenity and peace. And because the saint was hoping for this, he therefore excused him confidently from confession.


Around the time of his death, a certain savory confection had been prepared for him,a and he remembered Bernard, who was the first brother he had. "Brother Bernard likes this confection," he said to his companions. He immediately had him called to himself.

When he arrived he sat next to the bed where the saint was lying, Brother Bernard said: "Father! I beg you, bless me and show me your love. I believe that, if you show me your fatherly affection, God Himself and all the brothers will love me more."

Blessed Francis was not able to see him, because many days earlier he had lost his sight. Extending his right Gn 48:14 hand, he placed it on the head of Brother Giles, the third brother. He thought he was placing it on the head of Brother Bernard who was sitting next to him and, immediately becoming aware of this through the Holy Spirit, he said, "This is not the head of my Brother Bernard."b

Brother Bernard then immediately drew 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 fulfilled the perfection of the holy Gospel, distributing all his goods to the poor. Mt 19:21 Mt 25:4 Because of this and his many other prerogatives, I am bound to love him more than any other brother in the whole Order. As much as I am able, it is my will and command that whoever becomes general minister should love and honor him as he would me. Let the other provincial ministers and all the brothers of the whole religion hold him in my place."c Because of this, Brother Bernard and the other brothers were greatly consoled.




Speculum Perfectionis, Fontes Franciscani, p.

Francis of Assisi: Early Documents, vol. 3, p. 355