Miscellaneous Franciscan Sources - 816 

Sixth Seal and as a sign that through his Order they would be converted to Christ in the sixth status of the Church. Again, he went in the thirteenth year from his conversion as a sign that beginning with the thirteenth century from the Passion and Resurrection of Christ, the Saracens and other infidels are to be converted through his Order and its many martyrs . . .

3 These generations [of the New Testament times] begin from the incarnation of Christ and from the beginning parallel the generations of the Old Testament very clearly and with marvelous agreement. Joachim has a full calculation and noteworthy accuracy up to his time. In the sixth year of the forty-first generation, the third age (that still runs along with the second) was fundamentally begun.a The opening of the sixth seal, still running along with the fifth, was also begun, because Francis, like the angel of the opening of the sixth seal, was converted in that sixth year which was also the sixth year of the thirteenth centenary of the Incarnation of Christ. From that time on, every persecution of his evangelical state anticipates the persecution by the Antichrist. Thus in Paris during the following forty-second generation there was the persecution by those masters who condemned evangelical mendicancy . . . This [is] the error . . . of those who say that having nothing in common does not pertain to evangelical perfection. The declaration or decretal of Lord Nicholas III was issued against them in the same generation . . .b At the end of this forty-second generation there was the unusual election of Pope Celestine and his successor and other worsening matters . . .

4 Know that anywhere in this book where it treats of the Great Antichrist in prophetic fashion, it also implies the time of the Mystical Antichrist preceding him. According to this, the beast ascending from the sea signifies the bestial life and race of carnal and worldly Christians which from the end of the fifth period also has many heads made up of worldly princes and prelates.

The more deeply and broadly evangelical poverty and perfection is impressed and magnified in Christ's church, the stronger the head of earthly cupidity and vile carnality strikes against it. But already this head that was almost dead revives too much, so that all the carnal Christians are in awe of it and follow its earthly and carnal glory. When the apostate beast from the land of the religious rises on high




Francis of Assisi: Early Documents, vol. 3, p. 816