The Deeds of Blessed Francis & His Companions (1328-1337) - 549 

Christ suddenly appeared to him with a great multitude of angels and holy virgins, and approached his sick-bed in a wonderful light. When he saw her, he was consoled and delighted in mind and body, and he asked the Queen of Mercy to beg her Son that by His Mother's merits He would lead him forth from the dark prison of the flesh. And while he asked for this with many tears, the Blessed Virgin replied, calling him by name and saying: "Do not fear, son, your prayer has been heard. For I have seen your tears, and I have come to you so you may be comforted a little before you depart."

9 Three holy virgins came with the Blessed Virgin, carrying in their hands three little containers of an elixir with such a wonderful fragrance and sweetness that it can hardly be described in words. The Blessed Virgin took one of the containers and as soon as she opened it, it filled everything with its fragrance. Taking a spoon in her glorious hands, she offered the sick man a dose of the first heavenly elixir. When he tasted it, he felt such grace and sweetness that he thought that his soul could not stay in his body, and he said to the Blessed Virgin: "No more, sweet Mother and blessed Lady! No more, O blessed Doctor and Savior of the human race! No more, because I cannot bear any more of such sweetness!"

12 But the most kindly Mother and gracious Consoler encouraged the sick man, repeatedly offering him some of that elixir until the whole first container was empty. And after that first container or bottle was empty, the Blessed Virgin took the second. When the sick man saw it, he said: "O blessed Mother of God, if my soul almost melted completely at the fragrance and sweetness of the first elixir, how will I be able to endure the second? I beg you, blessed beyond all saints and angels, not to give me any more!" The blessed Virgin and Mother answered him: "Just taste a little of this, son."

14 And taking it, she gave him a little from the second one, saying: "Now you've taken as much as you need. Be strong, son, because I am coming quickly to lead you to the kingdom of my Son, for which you have always longed and which you have always desired." And taking leave of him, she slipped from his sight. He remained in such sweetness of spirit because of that mixture brought from the heavenly apothecary and administered by the hands of the most blessed Virgin Mary, that he was completely illuminated internally and the eyes of his mind were opened in such tranquility of the divine light that he clearly saw in the book of eternal life Phil 4:3 all who were to be saved until the day of judgment. And he was so filled to satisfaction by the sweetness of that elixir—for it was not earthly but heavenly medicine—that for many days he remained strong without any bodily food. And on the last day of his life, as he was talking and rejoicing




Francis of Assisi: Early Documents, vol. 3, p. 549