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 An Umbrian Choir Legend - 475 

served them in your hands, so too upon you and in you, I bless them all. May God, the king of all, bless you in heaven and on earth. I bless you as I can and more than I can, and what I cannot do may the One who can do all things, do in you. May God remember Dn 14:37 your work and labors and may a place be reserved for you among the rewards of the just. Heb 2:2 May you receive every blessing you desire and may your every worthy request be fulfilled.

"Goodbye, all my sons. Live in the fear of the Lord Eccl 9:22 and remain in Him always. And because a future test and tribulation is drawing near, happy are those who will persevere in what they have begun. For now I am hurrying to the Lord to whose grace I commend you all."

5 After that he commanded that he be brought to Saint Mary of the Portiuncula, that he might give back his soul to God where he first came to know perfectly the way of truth. This place he had learned from experience was full of grace and filled with visits of heavenly spirits. This place he always wanted to be guarded by the brothers with honor, because the new seedling of the religion, sprouting first from there, filled the whole world.

After resting a few days in the place he longed for, he knew the time of his approaching death was at hand, he called Brother Angelo and Brother Leo, the dearest of all to him,a and ordered them to sing loudly The Praises of the Lord for his nearing death.

6 He himself, as much as he could, broke forth into this psalm: With my voice I cried to the Lord, with my voice I have beseeched the Lord. And immediately ordering the Book of the Gospels to be brought he asked that the Gospel according to John be read to him from that place which begins: Before the feast of Passover. Jn 13:1 And turning to a certain brother whom he loved, he said: "You will bless my brothers for me, the present as well as the absent. I forgive all their faults and offenses, and I absolve them insofar as I am able."

Finally, when he was covered with sackcloth and sprinkled with ashes, with his sons and brothers standing around him weeping, that most holy soul was released from the flesh, and as it was absorbed into the abyss of light, his body fell asleep in the Lord.One of his disciples, one of no small fame, saw the soul of the most holy father like a star ascending to heaven, having the immensity of the moon and the brightness of the sun, extending over many waters Ps 29:3 [Vulgate, Ps 28:3] carried by a little white cloud. Rv 14:14

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Francis of Assisi: Early Documents, vol. 2, p. 475

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