A Letter on the Passing of Saint Francis - 491 

loss of their great leaders, Moses and Aaron. Let us, by all means, give way to tears for we are deprived of so great a father.

9Indeed, it is in keeping with our love for him that we rejoice with Francis. Still, it is right to mourn him! It belongs to us to rejoice with Francis, for he has not died but gone to the fair in heaven, taking with him a bag of money and will not return until the full moon.

At the same time it is right for us to weep for Francis. He who came and went among us, as did Aaron, who brought forth from his storehouse both the new and the old and comforted us in all our afflictions, has been taken from our midst.a Now we are like orphans without a father. Lam 5:3 Yet, because it is written, "the poor depend on you and you are the helper of orphans" all of you, dearest brothers, must earnestly pray that, though this earthen jar has been broken in the valley of Adam's children, the Most High Potter will deign to repair and restore another of similar honor, who will rule over the multitude of our race and go before us into battle like a true Maccabee.

10And, because it is not useless to pray for the dead, pray to the Lord for his soul. Let each priest say three Masses, each cleric the Psalter, and the lay brothers five Our Fathers. Let the clerics also recite in common the vigil office.b Amen.

Brother Elias, Sinner.




Francis of Assisi: Early Documents, vol. 2, p. 491