The Book of Chronicles (Prologue and the First Tribulation) - 381 

[Christ Instructs Francis]

12Jesus Christ found him faithful, Rv 1:5 obedient, grateful, simple, upright, humble, in accord with His heart; and revealed to him the first and last perfection of His evangelical life and that of His mother, His apostles, and the evangelists. He opened his ears and trained him with a powerful hand Is 50:4 in the incorruptible and perfect works of heaven, and placed Himself in his heart, Sg 8:6 his mouth, and his arms.

16Christ said to him: "Take from my hand the scroll, the law of grace and humility, of poverty, piety, charity, and peace; the form of life which I kept with my disciples, a life-giving rule for a spotless life and fullness of grace, the sure acquisition of glory for the soul directing in action and in thought the possession and ascent to heavenly and divine things. This I created substantially in the saints from the beginning and showed it to be the form of perfection.a

20"Naked, being born of the Virgin in a way words cannot describe, I was wrapped in the swaddling clothes of poverty, and lay in the manger Lk 2:7 of humility, because I did not want to have a place in the inn, so that, in a mystery, I might show poverty to be the sure way to the kingdom of heaven, and I might confirm in words and deeds the humble lovers and observers of poverty to be heirs Jas 2:5 and kings of that same kingdom, ordained by my Father from eternity.

24"A powerful angel, in spirit and power the prophet Elias, herald of my advent and incarnation, John the Baptist, I sent before me to prepare my ways and to make straight the paths, to preach penance and, in deeds and in word, to give knowledge of salvation for the remission of sins. Thus, through him, all might believe in me, and for believing, loving, and observing the perfection of my poor, meek, and humble way of living and most divine life, all wishing to come after me Lk 9:23 might have a pious and most sure director, guide, and patron from this point until the end of the world.

28"For this reason, giving to those choosing to come after me Mt 16:24 Lk 9:23 escape from the shadows of error and the damnation of eternal confusion and death, and entry to the kingdom of God, reborn of water and the Holy Spirit, Jn 3:5 as soon as I was baptized by him I was led into the desert by the Holy Spirit. In fasting, vigils, 2 Cor 11:27 and prayer I consecrated by example the period of forty days, teaching through this that the lifetime of the baptized ought to be consecrated fully and perfectly to divine worship; and so those following me, by my power might conquer the prince of death, ruler of the world of this darkness, and dead Eph 6:12 1 Cor 1:27 to the world and all




Francis of Assisi: Early Documents, vol. 3, p. 381