The Life of Saint Francis by Thomas of Celano - 215 

proclaiming the kingdom of God
and preaching peace
and penance for the remission of sins,
Mk 1:4 not in the persuasive words of human wisdom
but in
the learning and power of the Spirit. 1 Cor 2:4

He acted confidently Acts 9:28 in all matters because of the apostolic authority granted him. He did not use fawning or seductive flattery. He did not smooth over but cut out the faults of others. He did not encourage but struck at the life of sin with a sharp blow, because he first convinced himself by action and then convinced others by words. Not fearing anyone's rebuke, he spoke the truth boldly, so that even well-educated men, distinguished by fame and dignity, were amazed at his words and were shaken by a healthy fear in his presence.

Men ran, women also ran,
clerics hurried,
and religious rushed to see and hear the holy one of God,
who seemed to everyone a person of another age.a
People of all ages and both sexes hurried to behold the wonders
which the Lord worked anew in the world through his servant.

At that time,
through the presence of Saint Francis and through his reputation,
it surely seemed a new light had been sent from heaven to earth,
driving away all the darkness
that had so nearly covered that whole region
that hardly anyone knew where to turn.
Deep forgetfulness of God
and lazy neglect of his commandments
overwhelmed almost everyone,
so that they could barely be roused from old, deep-seated evils.
37 He gleamed
like a shining star in the darkness of night
and like the morning spread over Jl 2:2 the darkness.b

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Vita Prima, Fontes Franciscani, p. 310-311


non in persuasibilibus humanae sapientiae verbis,
sed in doctrina et virtute spiritus,
annuntians regnum Dei,
praedicans pacem, docens salutem
et poenitentiam in remissionem peccatorum.

2Erat in omnibus fiducialius agens ex auctoritate apostolica sibi concessa, nullis utens adulationibus, nullis seductoriis blandimentis. 3Nesciebat aliquorum culpas palpare sed pungere, nec vitam fovere peccantium sed aspera increpatione percutere, quoniam sibi primo suaserat opere quod verbis aliis suadebat; et non timens reprehensorem, veritatem fidentissime loquebatur, ita ut etiam litteratissimi viri, gloria et dignitate pollentes, eius mirarentur sermones et timore utili eius praesentia terrerentur.

4Currebant viri, currebant et feminae,
festinabant clerici,
accelerabant religiosi, ut viderent et audirent sanctum Dei,
qui homo alterius saeculi omnibus videbatur.
5Omnis aetas omnisque sexus properabat cernere mirabilia,
quae noviter Dominus per servum suum operabatur in mundo.

6Videbatur certe tempore illo,
sive per praesentiam sancti Francisci, sive per famam
quaedam nova lux e caelo missa in terris,
fugans universam tenebrarum caliginem,
quae paene totam sic occupaverat regionem,
ut vix aliquis sciret quo foret pergendum.
7Sic enim alta profunditas oblivionis Dei
et negligentiae sopor mandatorum eius
fere omnes oppresserat,
ut vix excitari a veteribus et inveteratis malis aliquatenus paterentur.
37 1Radiabat
velut stella fulgens in caligine noctis
et quasi mane expansum super tenebras:

Francis of Assisi: Early Documents, vol. 1, p. 215

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