The Kinship of Saint Francis - 728 

[Chapter VI]


37 Blessed Francis was even like Christ in the transformation of the members of his body. This can be seen by first describing the bodily conditions of Christ Himself and then those of Francis, for they were similar. But there is a unique likeness made in the impression of the sacred stigmata.

For we read in some annals which are in Rome that the Lord Jesus Christ, whom the Gentiles called "a prophet of truth," was of medium height, imposing, and handsome. He had a dignified countenance that those who saw could both love and fear, hair like ripe hazel-nut reaching to the ears, curls hanging to the shoulders, and parted in the middle in the Nazarean style. His forehead was smooth and serene with a face that was without a wrinkle or blemish, which a mild ruddy color made attractive. His nose was straight and there was nothing displeasing about his mouth. He had a full, youthful beard, the same color as his hair, not long but forked at the chin. He had a simple, mature glance from eyes of a varied blue: when rebuking it was terrifying, and in admonishing it was mild, loving, and pleasant while preserving dignity. Sometimes he cried, but he never laughed. His bearing was straight and upright, his hands and arms pleasant to look at. His speech was serious, reasonable, rare and modest. Therefore the prophet testified to him in a passage from psalm forty-four: You are beautiful above the sons of men.

Note that Francis's bodily conditions were almost like those of Christ. We read that blessed Francis was: "very eloquent, with a cheerful appearance and a kind face; free of laziness and arrogance. He was of medium height, closer to short, his head was of medium size and round. His face was somewhat long and drawn, his forehead small and smooth, with medium eyes black and clear. His hair was dark; his eyebrows were straight, and his nose even and thin; his ears small and upright, and his temples smooth. His tongue was peaceful, fiery, and sharp; his voice was powerful, but pleasing, clear, and musical. His teeth were white, well set, and even; his lips were small and thin; his beard was black and sparse; his neck was slender, his shoulders straight; his arms were short,




Francis of Assisi: Early Documents, vol. 3, p. 728