A Mirror of the Perfection (The Sabatier Edition, 1928) - 356 

Considering the outstanding perfection of Brother Bernard, blessed Francis prophesied about him in the presence of some of the brothers: "I tell you, some of the greatest and most cunning devils have been sent to test Brother Bernard. They will send him many trials and temptations. The merciful Lord, however, will deliver him toward the end of his life from all troubles and temptations. And He will place his spirit and body in such peace and consolation that all the brothers who see this will be greatly astonished, and consider it a great miracle. In this quiet and consolation of both body and soul he will go to the Lord."

Afterwards, all these things were fulfilled to the letter in Brother Bernard, not without all the brothers' greatest admiration. All the brothers who heard about these things from blessed Francis were astonished. In his last illness Brother Bernard was in such great peace and consolation of spirit that he did not want to lie down. And if he lay down, he lay in a sitting position so that not even the lightest mist would reach his head, which could disturb his meditations on God through dreams or other fantasies. And if this would occasionally occur, he would immediately get up and strike himself, saying "What was that? Why was I thinking that way?" He did not want to take any medicine, but would say to anyone offering it: "Don't distract me."

In order to die more freely, peacefully, and quietly, he expropriated himself of care for his body, putting himself in the hands of one of the brothers who was a doctor telling him. "I do not wish to be concerned about eating or drinking," he would say, "but I entrust myself to you. If you give me something, I'll take it. If you don't, I will not ask for it."

When he began to grow weaker, he wanted to have a priest brother with him at all times, until the hour of his death. Whenever any thought entered his mind for which his conscience reproved him, he immediately confessed it.

After his death, he became white and his flesh soft, and he seemed to be almost smiling. Thus he was more handsome dead than alive, and everyone delighted more at seeing him dead in this way than alive; for the saint truly seemed to be smiling.




Speculum Perfectionis, Fontes Franciscani, p.

Francis of Assisi: Early Documents, vol. 3, p. 356