The Life of Saint Francis by Thomas of Celano - 188 

hausted from his struggle that one person seemed to have entered, and another to have come out.7One day, when he had invoked the Lord's mercy with his whole heart, the Lord showed him what he must do. He was filled with such great joy Ps 126:2 [Vulgate, Ps 125:2] that, failing to restrain himself in the face of his happiness, he carelessly mentioned something to others. Even though he could not remain silent because of the greatness of the love inspired in him, he nevertheless spoke cautiously and in riddles. Just as he spoke to his special friend about a hidden treasure, Mt 13:44 so he endeavored to talk to others in figures of speech. He said that he did not want to go to Apulia, but promised to do great and noble deeds at home. People thought he wanted to get married, and they would ask him: "Do you want to get married, Francis?" He replied: "I will take a bride more noble and more beautiful than you have ever seen, and she will surpass the rest in beauty and excel all others in wisdom."

Indeed the unstained bride of God is
the true religion Jas 1:27 that he embraced,
and the hidden treasure the kingdom of heaven,
Mt 13:44 that he sought with great longing.
For it had to be that the gospel call be fulfilled
in the one who was to be
in faith and truth 1 Tm 2:7
a minister of the gospel. Eph 3:7

Chapter IV

8 Ah! Inclined and strengthened by the Holy Spirit the blessed servant of the Most High, seeing that the appointed time Jb 12:5 was at hand, followed that blessed impulse of his soul. Thus, as he trampled upon worldly things, he made his way to the greatest good. He could no longer delay, for by then a fatal disease had spread everywhere and infected the limbs of so many that, were the doctor to delay just a little, it would stifle breath and snatch life away.

After fortifying himself with the sign of the holy cross, he arose, and when his horse was made ready, he mounted it. Taking with him scarlet




Vita Prima, Fontes Franciscani, p. 283-284

12Propterea cum foras revertebatur ad socium, ita erat labore confectus, ut alius intrans, alius exiens videretur.

7 1Quadam vero die, cum Domini misericordiam plenissime invocasset, ostensum est ei a Domino, quid ipsum agere oporteret.2Tantoque deinceps repletus est gaudio, quod non se capiens prae laetitia, etiam nolens, ad aures hominum aliquid eructabat. Sed licet prae magnitudine inspirati amoris silere non posset, cautius tamen aliquid et in aenigmate loquebatur .4Sicut enim speciali amico, ut dictum est, de thesauro abscondito, sic et caeteris loqui figuraliter nitebatur; dicebat se in Apuliam nolle ire, sed in patria propria promittebat nobilia et ingentia se facturum.5Putabant homines quod uxorem ducere vellet, ipsumque interrogantes dicebant: « Uxoremne ducere vis, Francisce? ».6Qui respondens eis aiebat: « Nobiliorem et pulchriorem sponsam quam umquam videritis ducam, quae caeteris forma praemineat et sapientia cunctas excellat ».

7Et equidem immaculata Dei sponsa est
vera religio quam suscepit,
et thesaurus absconditus est regnum caelorum,
quod tanto desiderio exquisivit;
8quia necessario erat
omnino vocatio evangelica in eo explenda,
qui Evangelii erat minister
i in fide et veritate futurus.

Caput IV — Qualiter, venditis omnibus, pecuniam susceptam

8 1Eia, sic affectus beatus servus Altissimi et Sancto Spiritu confirmatus, quoniam aderat tempus statutum a sequitur illum beatum impetum animi sui, quo ad optima bona, calcatis saecularibus, itur.2Non licebat de caetero facere moram, quia letalis morbus ubique iam in tantum excreverat et multorum sic omnes occupaverat artus, ut aliquantisper medico retardante, abriperet vitam, vitali spiritu intercluso.

3Surgit proinde, signo sanctae crucis se muniens, et praeparato equo, super eum ascendit, assumptisque secum pannis scarulaticis ad vendendum,

Francis of Assisi: Early Documents, vol. 1, p. 188