The Life of Saint Francis by Thomas of Celano - 225 

He opened up the hidden recesses of their hearts, 1 Cor 14:25
and examined their consciences!a
How many he warned in their dreams,
both ordering what they should do
and forbidding what they should not!
How many future evil deeds he foretold
of those whose present deeds seemed so good in appearance!
So too did he announce
the future grace of salvation to many,
since he foresaw the ending of their misdeeds.
In fact, if someone in a spirit of purity and simplicity
merited enlightenment,
he would gain a singular consolation from a vision of him,
something not experienced by others.

I shall report just one of the many stories that I have learned from the reports of reliable witnesses. At one time, brother John of Florence was appointed by Saint Francis as minister of the brothers in Provence. He celebrated a chapter of the brothers in that province, and the Lord God with his usual favor opened the door of eloquence Col 4:3 for him and made all the brothers willing and attentive listeners. Among them was a certain brother priest named Monaldo, distinguished by a brilliant reputation and by an even more brilliant life. His virtue was grounded in humility, aided by frequent prayer, and preserved by the shield of patience.

Also at that chapter was brother Anthony whose mind the Lord had opened to understand the Scriptures and who poured forth Lk 24:45 among all the people sweet words about Jesus, sweeter than milk and honey.b He was preaching to the brothers fervently and devoutly on the verse, "Jesus of Nazareth, king of the Jews." Jn 19:19 Brother Monaldo glanced at the door of the house in which the brothers were all gathered. Jos 9:2 He saw there with his bodily eyes blessed Francis lifted up in the air with his hands extended as if on a cross, blessing the brothers. All of them seemed filled with the consolation of the Holy Spirit Acts 9:31 and were so taken with the joy of salvation that they believed readily what they heard regarding the vision and the presence of the glorious father.

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Vita Prima, Fontes Franciscani, p. 322-323


occulta cordium aperuit
et conscientias exploravit!
O quantos in somnis admonuit,
quibus et agenda praecepit
et non agenda prohibuit!
O quantorum futura mala praedixit,
quorum praesentia bona in facie videbantur!
3Sic et iniquitatum finem plurimorum praesciens,
futuram in ipsis gratiam salutis nuntiavit.
4Immo si quis puritatis et simplicitatis,
spiritu meruit illustrari,
visionis eius, modo caeteris inexperto,
consolatione potitus est singulari.

5Referam unum inter alia quod, fidelibus testibus referentibus, agnovi. 6Cum tempore quodam frater Ioannes de Florentia esset a sancto Francisco minister fratrum in Provincia constitutus et capitulum fratrum in eadem provincia celebrasset, Dominus Deus solita pietate ostium ei sermonis aperuit, et fratres omnes ad audiendum reddidit benevolos et attentos. 7Erat inter eos frater unus sacerdos, fama clarus sed clarior vita, Monaldus nomine, cuius virtus in humilitate fundata, oratione frequenti adiuta, scuto patientiae servabatur.

8Intererat etiam illi capitulo frater Antonius, cuius Dominus aperuit sensum, ut intelligeret Scripturas, et super mel et favum de Iesu verba dulcia eructaret in populo universo. — 9Qui cum fratribus ferventissime ac devotissime praedicaret, hoc scilicet verbum: « Iesus Nazarenus Rex Iudaeorum », dictus frater Monaldus respexit ad ostium domus in qua erant fratres pariter congregati, et vidit ibi corporeis oculis beatum Franciscum in aëre sublevatum, extensis velut in cruce manibus, benedicentem fratres. 10Repleti quoque videbantur omnes consolatione Spiritus Sancti, et de concepto salutis gaudio satis credibile fuit eis quod de visione ac praesentia patris gloriosissimi audierunt.

Francis of Assisi: Early Documents, vol. 1, p. 225

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