The Versified Life of Saint Francis (after 1283) - 86 

Here under her patronage he won increase in virtue,
Here he got to know more surely the things that he must do,
Here, under her, happily began the Order of Minors,
And a light beamed, a world's gloomy blemishes chasing away.
This is the place of a vision shown to a devoted brother,
Before his conversion, a vision well worth the telling:
He saw innumerable people who had been blinded
All crowded round about the hallowed walls of this very church,
Upon their bended knees, their faces and their palms lifted up
To the Lord, as they begged in tears for mercy and for sight.
And there came this great splendor from heaven upon them all,
Bestowing the sight and health they all had so much longed for.
This chapel therefore, above all others, the saint did love,
And wished his disciples to dwell there in perpetuity.

The Fifth Book


1Francis, most loved to inhabit; nor did he often leave it,
There, immobile, settled, he prolonged the sojourn, restoring
The building, planting the gardens, and on scanty rations
Sustaining life; not like the kind he was used to wearing
Were the clothes he wore, but like those that belonged to hermits.
Whilst he stayed there, continuous were the prayers he offered
To her who conceived the Savior, that she, whom he had chosen
As his very own guardian and his own patroness,
Would ever be at hand to help him. It was by her merits
That he conceived the grace of the evangelical life.
So it was that once, while he was hearing Mass, the Gospel
7That was read one day: Jesus sent out his disciples—after

103Attracts others as followers of what was done in their sight.
Ardent, then, became Bernard, burning well and as boon nard
Of Francis, fragrant; if he was the first in time to be
His son in Christ, with spiritual merit, too, he was first
To be endowed; since a holy life testified that he was
Saintly, as did signs that his death was precious to the Lord. Ps 115:15 [Vulgate, Ps 114:15]

104Another from the city is converted by his zeal,




Francis of Assisi: Early Documents, vol. 3, p. 86