The Book of Chronicles (Prologue and the First Tribulation) - 392 

268 Saint Francis himself used to say that the almighty power of God is made known and shines forth in the faith and endurance of the saints, because we have been saved by faith, and all the works of God are done in faith. Without faith it is impossible to please God; as it is written, one who doubts divine providence is like the waves of the sea, moved and tossed about by the wind. For that man should not suppose that he will receive anything from God, because someone like that is devious in spirit and erratic in all his ways.

272 All things are possible to one who believes, and all things, however bitter, are sweet and light to one who loves. The apostles, martyrs, and the Fathers, naked and withdrawn from the world, serving God in faith and charity lived for Christ and not for themselves. Having before their eyes the examples of Christ like a cloud of witnesses of eternal refreshment, "they went about in the skins of sheep and goats, needy, afflicted, tormented: the world was not worthy of them." How many torments all the saints suffered so that they might safely reach the kingdom with the palm of martyrdom! They shared in the sufferings of Christ and were abandoned to temptations, infirmities, wants, and the persecutions of demons and humans; to be tested and proven in the crucible of tribulations, as in fire, and through endurance to be numbered among the saints, reigning with Christ in the kingdom of heaven. We are given great and immeasurable gifts of the spirit and benefits from the Lord at the very time when, for the moment, we are afflicted and tempted, so that, once our endurance has been proven, we may reach Christ with the palm of martyrdom.

279 When we are living just and holy lives and when, because of our observance of obedience, poverty, and chastity, we incur need, sickness, and death, we should rejoice, looking at Him who, for the sake of the joy that lay before Him, endured the cross, despising the shame. In the same way they rejoice who win victory over opponents: they find it all the more valuable the longer they sought and longed for it. Every one of the saints puts on the elegance and beauty of incorruptible and eternal glory, placed in the line moving toward the undying good at the moment when each of them completely dies to vices and passions in exchange for imitation and profession of the life of Christ, desiring to be freed from the body, and through tortures and torments to pass over to Him, who endured suffering and death on the cross for us, who were enemies of God and slaves of sin and most deserving of eternal death.

287 Christ Jesus worked in His servant Francis in the same way as in the early saints, and many rushed toward the fragrance of his life and that of his companions, and were drawn by the power of the Spirit of Christ to love heavenly things and put them into practice.

289 Fervent in the spirit of Christ they preached the Gospel in deed and in word. The hearts of those who saw them were transformed, and to confirm their life and preaching Christ daily worked




Francis of Assisi: Early Documents, vol. 3, p. 392