The Praises of God and the Blessing - 108 

The Praises of God and the Blessing
(The Parchment Given to Brother Leo on LaVerna)a

Leo of Assisi, who was with Francis on LaVerna in the Fall of 1224, wrote in red ink on one side of this piece of parchment: “Two years before his death, the blessed Francis spent forty days on Mount LaVerna from the Feast of the Assumption of the holy Virgin Mary until the September Feast of Saint Michael, in honor of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Mother of God, and the blessed Michael the Archangel. And the Lord’s hand was upon him. After the vision and message of the Seraph and the impression of Christ’s stigmata upon his body, he composed these praises written on the other side of this page and wrote them in his own hand, thanking God for the kindness bestowed on him.”

On the other side of the same parchment Brother Leo wrote: “The blessed Francis wrote this blessing for me with his own hand.” Then: “In a similar way he made with his own hand this sign TAU together with a skull.”

The original parchment is now preserved in the Basilica of Saint Francis in Assisi. In preparing his edition of these texts, Kajetan Esser relied on the work of Duane Lapsanski who had examined the original parchment with the help of infra- red technology and was able to read passages now illegible to the naked eye.b Even with the aid of technology, the parchment was still illegible in certain places, particularly at the edges and on the folds, Lapsanski then had recourse to early manuscript copies of the texts. These supplemental readings will be indicated by placing the text in bold print. Esser, relying on a broader examination of those manuscripts, changed some of Lapsanski’s readings. These variants will be noted in the footnotes.




Chartula fratri leoni data, Fontes Franciscani, p. 45

Francis of Assisi: Early Documents, vol. 1, p. 108