The Versified Life of Saint Francis (after 1283) - 79 

poetry had no place for that word, were quite ignorant of its inherent value. So, he freely employed "trinity," "unity," and the like,a regarding it as improper that the use of words with religious signification should be subject to the rules of the poets.b The Vicar of Christ approved of the honest argument in this response and ordered that it be given his authority. Accordingly, this Versified Life has been called "Charity" by some, on account of the treatment given this particular word. The work, to be sure, has examples of imitation and wonderful points of veneration; it contains what could shape one's conduct and stimulate one's purpose. Nor does it lack buoyant parts for the uncultivated; so that in it everyone's individual capacity finds provision.

The First Book treats of the blessed Francis's behavior in secular garb and of the apparition of Christ under the appearance of the crucified.

The Second: his battle against moral failings; the voice he heard from the cross; his being thought mad as he sold everything.

The Third: persecution by his father; how he, disinherited and stripped, exulted in his own homeland.

The Fourth: how he fell among thieves and served the lepers and the repairing of three churches.

The Fifth: how he took from the Gospel a form of living; the conversion of the first brothers.

The Sixth: the brothers he had sent through the world to preach all return together immediately, in answer to his prayer; the approval of the rule.

The Seventh: how he taught the brothers to pray and the confirmation of the formerly approved rule. The spirit of prophecy and the multiplicity of his virtue.

The Eighth: multiplication of foodstuffs on board ship; how he preached the faith of Christ to the Sultan.

The Ninth: creatures obey him; the grace of healing.

The Tenth: preaching before the lord Pope Honorius; the affective piety towards creatures.

The Eleventh: the invitation to all creatures to the praise of their Creator; his representation of Christ's Nativity.

The Twelfth: the revealing of his passing from life; the sacred stigmata and Christ appearing in the form of a Seraph.

The Thirteenth: his patience, and all that preceded his happy passing.




Francis of Assisi: Early Documents, vol. 3, p. 79