The Life of Saint Francis by Thomas of Celano - 187 

Chapter III


6 Changed in mind but not in body, he now refused to go to Apulia and was anxious to direct his will to God's. Thus he retired for a short time from the tumult and business of the world and was anxious to keep Jesus Christ in his inmost self. Like an experienced merchant, he concealed the pearl he had found from the eyes of mockers and selling all he had, Mt 13:46 he tried to buy it secretly.

Now there was in the city of Assisi a man he loved more than all the rest. They were of the same age and the constant intimacy of their mutual love made him bold to share his secrets with him. He often brought him to remote places suitable for talking, asserting that he had found a great and valuable treasure. This man was overjoyed, and since he was so excited about what he heard, he gladly went with him whenever he was summoned. There was a cave near the city where they often went and talked together about the treasure.a The man of God, who was already holy because of his holy intention, was accustomed to enter the cave, while his companion waited outside, and inspired by a new and extraordinary spirit he would pray to his Father in secret. Mt 6:6 He acted in such a way that no one would know what was happening within. Wisely taking the occasion of the good to conceal the better, he consulted God alone about his holy purpose. He prayed with all his heart that the eternal and true God guide his way and teach him to do His will. He endured great suffering in his soul, and he was not able to rest until he accomplished in action what he had conceived in his heart. Different thoughts followed one after another, and their relentlessness severely disturbed him. He was burning inwardly with a divine fire, and he was unable to conceal outwardly the flame kindled in his soul. He repented that he had sinned so grievously and that he had offended the eyes of majesty. Is 3:8 While his past and present transgressions no longer delighted him, he was not yet fully confident of refraining from future ones. Therefore, when he came back out to his companion, he was so exhausted




Vita Prima, Fontes Franciscani, p. 281-283

Caput III — Qualiter mente sed non corpore mutatus de
thesauro invento et sponsa allegorice loquebatur.

6 1Immutatus quoque, sed mente non corpore, ire in Apuliam iam recusat, et voluntatem suam studet dirigere ad divinam.2 Sicque parumper a saeculari tumultu se subtrahens et negotio, studet in interiore homine recondere Iesum Christum. 3Abscondit velut prudens , negotiator margaritam inventam oculis illusorum, et occulte nititur eam, venditis omnibus a comparare.

4Nam cum vir quidam in civitate Assisii magis inter caeteros sibi dilectus exsisteret, quoniam unius cum eo erat aetatis et assidua familiaritas mutuae dilectionis ad communicanda secreta sua ipsi praeberet ausum, eum ad loca remota et apta consiliis saepius perducebat, quemdam thesaurum pretiosum et magnum se asserens invenisse.5Exsultat homo ille ac de auditis exsistens sollicitus, libenter cum eo graditur, quoties advocatur. —6Crypta quaedam erat iuxta civitatem, ad quam frequenter euntes, de thesauro mutuo loquebantur.7Intrabat vir Dei, qui sanctus iam sancto proposito erat, cryptam illam, socio de foris exspectante, et novo ac singulari perfusus spiritu, Patrem suum in abscondito exorabat.8Gestiebat neminem scire quid ageret intus, et occasione boni melius sapienter occultans, solum Deum in suo sancto proposito consulebat.9 0rabat devotus ut Deus aeternus et verus dirigeret viam suam et suam illum doceret facere voluntatem.10Maximam sustinebat animi passionem et, donec opere compleret quod conceperat corde, quiescere non valebat; cogitationes variae sibi invicem succedebant, et ipsarum importunitas eum duriter perturbabat.11Ardebat intus igne divino et conceptum ardorem mentis celare de foris non valebat; poenitebat eum peccasse tam graviter et offendisse oculos maiestatis , nec iam eum mala praeterita seu praesentia delectabant; sed nondum plene receperat continendi fiduciam a futuris. 12Propterea cum foras revertebatur ad socium, ita erat labore confectus,

Francis of Assisi: Early Documents, vol. 1, p. 187