A Life of Saint Francis by an Anonymous Monk of a German Monastery - 865 

whenever he sent private letters to him, he would always write: "To the Most Reverend Father and Lord Hugo, Bishop of the whole world," giving people to understand that by divine dispensation he was chosen to be Pontiff of the whole Church. How Francis, the man of God, had been filled with divine charisms! Let it suffice to have mentioned these few of many as examples, so that if anyone desires, he may gather some knowledge from these which are set down here.

XXV: A Description of Him

75 He was friendly in behavior, affable in speech, faithful in commitment, prudent in advice, sober in spirit, tireless in prayer, lifted in contemplation, and fervent in all things. He was quick in pardoning, difficult to grow angry, free in nature, subtle in discussing, careful in choices, and the same in everything. He was strict with himself and kind with others.

76 He was fluent in eloquence, cheerful in appearance, mature in character, of medium height, closer to small. His hair was dark, his beard was black but sparse; he had thin legs, little flesh. His clothing was rough; his sleep was short, his hand was bounteous. And since he was very humble, he showed meekness to all people, and duly adapted himself to the behavior of all. Holy among the holy! Among sinners he was as if one of them, so that his presence was usefully gracious in everything.

XXVI: The Opened Book

77 And because with all his heart he always strove most diligently to conform himself in all things to the good pleasure of the divine will, he desired one time to be shown by the Lord how to serve Him more perfectly, and what especially would be His will in this regard. He, therefore, went to the holy altar, placed the holy book of the Gospels on it, humbly prostrated himself, and prayed to the Lord that at the first opening of the Book, he would deign to show him what he had desired, just as we read that one of the earlier saints had requested. Rising from prayer and fortifying himself with the sign of the cross, he opened the book and the first passage he came upon was: "The Passion of the Lord Jesus Christ;" and lest this should be believed to have happened by chance, he opened the book similarly a second and third time, and the same text or one that was similar occurred to him. Then this man, filled with God, understood that by the way




Francis of Assisi: Early Documents, vol. 3, p. 865