The Life of Saint Francis by Thomas of Celano - 205 

Chapter XI

26 Day by day the blessed father Francis was being filled with the consolation and the grace of the Holy Spirit Acts 9:31, and, with all vigilance and concern, he was forming his new sons with new instruction, teaching them to walk with steady steps the way of holy poverty and blessed simplicity.a

One day he was marveling at the Lord's mercy in the kindness shown to him. He wished that the Lord would show him the course of life for him and his brothers, and he went to a place of prayer, as he so often did.b He remained there a long time with fear and trembling Tb 13:6 before the Ruler of the whole earth. Zec 4:14 He recalled in the bitterness of his soul the years Is 38:15 he spent badly, frequently repeating this phrase: "Lord, be merciful to me, a sinner." Lk 18:13 Gradually, an indescribable joy and tremendous sweetness began to well up deep in his heart.

He began to lose himself;
his feelings were pressed together;
and that darkness disappeared
which fear of sin had gathered in his heart.
Certainty of the forgiveness of all his sins poured in,
and the assurance of being revived in grace was given to him.
Then he was caught up above himself and totally engulfed in light,
and, with his inmost soul opened wide,
he clearly saw the future.
As that sweetness and light withdrew,
renewed in spirit,
he now seemed to be changed into another man. c

27 He returned and said to the brothers with joy: "Be strong, Eph 6:10 dear brothers, and rejoice in the Lord. Phil 3:1 Do not be sad, because you seem so few, and do not let my simplicity or yours discourage you. The Lord has shown me that God will make us grow into a great multitude, and will spread us to the ends of the earth. I must also tell you what I saw




Vita Prima, Fontes Franciscani, p. 300-301

Caput XI — De spiritu prophetiae et monitis sancti Francisci.

261Beatus igitur pater Franciscus consolatione ac gratia Spiritus Sancti quotidie replebatur a, omnique vigilantia et sollicitudine novos filios novis institutionibus informabat, sanctae paupertatis beataeque simplicitatis viam gressu indeclinabili eos edocens ambulare.

2Quadam vero die, cum Domini misericordiam super impensis sibi beneficiis miraretur, et conversationis suae suorumque processum concupisceret sibi a Domino indicari, locum orationis petiit, sicut et saepissime faciebat, 3ubi cum diu perseveraret cum timore et tremore Dominatori universae terrae assistens, et in amaritudine animae suae annos male expensos recogitaret, 4frequenter replicans verbum illud: « Deus, propitius esto mihi peccatori e », 5quaedam laetitia indicibilis et suavitas maxima sensim coepit cordis eius intima superfundere.

6Coepit quoque a semetipso deficere,
compres sisque affectibus
ac tenebris effugatis,
quae timore peccati fuerant in corde suo concretae,
infusa est sibi certitudo remissionis omnium delictorum
et fiducia exhibita est in gratiam respirandi.
7Raptus est deinde supra se, atque in quodam lumine totus absorptus,
dilatato mentis sinu,
quae futura erant luculenter inspexit.
8Recedente denique suavitate illa cum lumine,
spiritu innovatus,
iam mutatus in virum alterum videbatur.

271Sicque reversus gaudenter dixit ad fratres: « Confortamini, charissimi, et gaudete in Domino, nec, quia pauci videmini, efficiamini tristes, nec vos deterreat mea vel vestra simplicitas, quoniam, sicut mihi a Domino in veritate ostensum est, in maximam multitudinem faciet nos crescere Deus, et usque ad fines orbis multipliciter dilatabit. 2Ad vestrum quoque profectum dicere cogor quod vidi,

Francis of Assisi: Early Documents, vol. 1, p. 205