The Life of Saint Francis by Julian of Speyer - 372 

than he had believed.a Thus he accepted the heavenly arms which he later used manfully against all temptations, and from then on began to change fully his earlier ways.b

Francis then removed himself from the tumult of business and made himself a salesman of the gospel. He sought good pearls, as it were, until he came upon one precious one, and while he was coming to see what was more pleasing to God, he meditatively entered the workshop of various virtues. And when he went away to meditate on the Lord’s field, he found there and hid the Lord’s hidden treasure, and, having sold everything, he proposed to buy it along with the field.c

4Now he sought a new counselor of this new purpose: he sought counsel only of God for what he did, and he revealed to no mortal what he intended. Wanting someone who was more familiar to him than others to share his joy, or rather seeking an opportunity to express his joy of soul in words, from time to time he summoned just such a person to secret places. In fact, he spoke to him mysteriously, but did not reveal his secret purpose entirely, only saying he had discovered a great and precious treasure. This man congratulated himself not a little, joyfully came to Francis whenever he was called, and conversed most freely whenever Francis spoke about the treasure. Moreover, flooded with a new spirit, Francis frequently entered a certain cave, while his companion waited outside, completely ignorant of what Francis was doing inside. There, in secret, Francis prayed with tears to his heavenly Father Mt 6:6 that, as his guide on his way, he might show him his will more clearly.d Thus praying at great length, he harshly afflicted himself, and until he knew by divine inspiration how he should begin, the distraction of his changing feelings would allow him no rest. There alternated within him happiness for the sweet taste of the spirit, the gravest sorrow for sins of the past, not a little fear of the future, and a fervent desire to complete what he had begun.

5Finally, more fully invoking divine mercy, he merited being heard for what he wanted and being taught infallibly by a heavenly sign what he should do. Then he was flooded with so much joy that, unable to




Iuliani de Spira Officium Sancti Francisci, Fontes Franciscani, p.

6sic armis caelestibus, quibus postmodum contra omnes tentationes viriliter utebatur, acceptis, coepit ex tunc mores pristinos ad plenum mutare.

7Franciscus itaque iam a publicae negotiationis tumultu se subtrahens, evangelicus negotiator efficitur, et quasi bonas margaritas, donec unam pretiosam inveniat, quaerit, dum ad videndum quid Deo placentius inchoet, diversarum meditando virtutum officinas ingreditur. 8Cumque sic in agrum dominicum meditari secedit, thesaurum illic absconditum invenit et recondit, eumque cum agro, venditis omnibus, comparare proponit.

4 1Iam novi propositi novum consiliarium quaerit: Deum, quid agat, unicum consulit, nullique mortalium quid intendat exponit. 2Solum tamen quemdam sibi prae caeteris familiarem gaudii sui participem esse desiderans, quin potius occasionem, ut verbis aliquando laetitiam mentis exprimeret, quaerens, ipsum ad loca secretiora saepius evocabat; 3et quidem sub aenigmate loquens, sed omnino propositi sui secreta non reserans, magnum se pretiosumque thesaurum reperisse dicebat. 4Congratulabatur sibi vir ille non modicum, laetanter cum ipso, quotiescumque vocabatur, egrediens et de thesauro utcumque loquenti libentissime colloquens. 5Intrabat autem crebro vir novo perfusus spiritu quamdam cryptam, socio deforis exspectante et quid intus ageret penitus ignorante; 6ibique cum lacrimis caelestem exorabat in abscondito Patrem, ut, viam ipsius dirigens, suam ei plenius ostenderet voluntatem. 7Sic iugiter in oratione persistens, semetipsum graviter affligebat, et donec divinitus qualiter inchoandum cognosceret, affectionum sibi vicissim succedentium importunitas ipsum quiescere non sinebat. 8Alternabantur namque in illo gaudium pro gustati dulcedine spiritus, dolor gravissimus pro peccatis praeteriti temporis, timor non modicus de futuris, fervensque desiderium super iis quae conceperat consummandis.

5 1Tandem, miseratione divina plenius invocata, pro optato meruit exaudiri, caelicoque infallibiliter indicio quid ageret edoceri. 2Tantoque deinceps perfusus est gaudio, ut, iam se continere non valens, quaedam etiam nolens in publicum verbotenus depromeret:

Francis of Assisi: Early Documents, vol. 1, p. 372