A Life of Saint Francis by an Anonymous Monk of a German Monastery - 868 

what was lacking in the sufferings of Christ, even though he bore in his body His sacred stigmata of wounds. For nearly two years he endured these things with complete patience, giving thanks to God.

The Newness of Fervor

84 Even though he who was the outer man was decaying due to the condition of his mortal nature, yet he who was the inner man, that is, the mental spirit, was being renewed and was always being made more fervent in the love of God. To himself he seemed to have done little and he was always desiring to begin a greater and more perfect pursuit of virtue. But when the annoyance of feebleness was increasing from day to day, he daily approached his end little by little. He called these tribulations his "Sisters" and setting up the shield of patience against them, he gave himself up totally by praying to Christ, from Whom he, falling into a struggle, reported that most certainly he had the promise of eternal life.

The Promise of Glory

85 "Rejoice," He said, "for this illness of yours is the pledge of my Kingdom!" It was then that he composed The Praises of God in which he rouses all creatures to His praise. For even death itself, terrible and hateful to everyone, he exhorted to the praise of God; he eagerly invited her to be his guest, saying: "Welcome, my Sister Death!" To the doctor he said: "My brother, boldly foretell death is near, for I believe it will be for me the gate of Life."

XXIX: Francis Blesses His Brothers

86 When Saint Francis saw that his final day was drawing near, as two years before it had been revealed to him, he called to him the brothers whom he wished, and he imposed hands on each of their heads, as it was given to him from above, just as long ago the patriarch Jacob blessed his sons, and in those who were present he blessed them all, both absent and future brothers who would serve the Lord in the Order until the end of the world.

87 When he approached his last hour he ordered that he be placed on the naked ground with sackcloth covering him and sprinkled with ashes. Then turning his attention to heaven, he was totally intent on that glory, to which he was about to depart. He said to his brothers: "I have done what was mine; may Christ bring to completion what is yours!" He then raised his hands, glorifying Christ, for free now from all things, he was going to Him free.




Francis of Assisi: Early Documents, vol. 3, p. 868