The Kinship of Saint Francis - 695 

when he held in his arms the Lord Jesus Christ, the blessed Virgin appeared to him and placed in his arms the one beautiful beyond the sons of men. Brother Conrad, "kissing him on the lips and drawing Him close to his breast," received indescribable consolation.

Barnabas is also called filius prophete [a prophetic son].a In the same way, Brother Conrad was Saint Francis's special son, a wonderful prophet who frequently made public the prophecies that he spoke concerning the future condition of the Order.b

6q It would be too long to narrate all of the individual disciples of Francis: how many were martyrs, how many shone with different miracles. Experience amply shows how many trials that religion "endured" because of the examples of evil brothers, as, of old, holy mother Church is seen at times being shaken under tyrants and heretics, how many schisms there were under that rule, and how many sects.

7 The blessed father Francis also had, on earth, a mother without a father; in heaven, a father without a mother, and in this, conformed in some way to Jesus Christ.

For we do not read that he left his mother who was holy and devout, but like a new man at the beginning of his conversion he completely left his father, and, by the breath of the divine Spirit, abdicated his own fatherhood. For standing before the bishop, as he returned everything he had from his father and despising what by law he could legitimately have, he said to his father: "Until now I have called you my father on earth; now I can say: Our Father Who art in heaven."

And as Christ had on earth only His presumed father, Joseph, in a similar way blessed Francis adopted as a father an elderly poor man by the name of Albert, who would bless him as his first father was cursing him, and whom he would nourish as a father from the alms he had begged.

7b As we read that Christ was carried by Simeon in his arms and that he also prophesied many things about Christ, thus, on the same day Francis was born, a pilgrim made his way to the door of his family's house seeking alms. When he accepted the alms from a maid's hand, the pilgrim said: "I must see the child born here today." At this the maid was horrified, sending him off as a fool, but the pilgrim




Francis of Assisi: Early Documents, vol. 3, p. 695