The Kinship of Saint Francis - 697 

and with the minister and his custodian when it pleases them to visit with the Lord's blessing."a

 

Saint John the Evangelist Lord Brother Bonaventure An Eagle
Saint Luke Brother Julian An ox
Saint Mark Brother Leo A Lion
Saint Matthew Brother Thomas An Angel

 

9 Just as in the beginning Christ called simple, unlettered, and ignorant men and through them attracted the world's rulers and learned, so did blessed Francis exactly. He chose the poor, simple, and unlettered in whom only the wisdom of God shone.

Blessed Francis also had four authors who wrote more authentically of his life, just as Christ had four evangelists.b For although many have written a life of Francis and his deeds, nevertheless four are more authentic, thoroughly holy men; just as many wrote a Gospel, yet only four Gospels are authentic and accepted by the Church without hesitation.

9a Brother Leo, who, like another Mark, is symbolized by a lion, wrote his life out of great zeal, roaring against violators of his Rule. In that life he explains in particular Francis's intention about the Rule and his zeal against those wanting to mitigate it.c

9b The second author of his life was the German Brother, Julian, who, like another Luke, can be symbolized as an ox, because he was totally dedicated to God, conspicuous for his learning and holiness, and thus can be said to be Luke as in lucendo [shining in merit].d He also composed the greater part of the "night office in lyrics and in chant."e This man in particular wrote of Francis's tears and the fervor that he had for people's conversion.

9c The third author was the thoroughly courteous, gracious, and humane Brother Thomas who can be symbolized, like Matthew, as a human being. Because of the Lord Pope Gregory IX's decree, he described Francis's affection for his own, and also his bodily afflictions.f

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Francis of Assisi: Early Documents, vol. 3, p. 697