The Assisi Compilation - 126 

We who were with hima witnessed this often with our own eyes. Frequently, when some of the brothers did not provide for his needs, or said something to him that would ordinarily offend a person, he would immediately go to prayer. On returning, he did not want to remember it by saying "Brother so and so did not provide for me," or "He said such and such to me."

The closer he approached death, the more careful he became in complete perfection to consider how he might live and die in complete humility and poverty.

[12]
[AS HE IS DYING HE BLESSES BROTHER BERNARD
AND PREDICTS HIS HOLY DEATH]

The day Lady Jacoba prepared that confection for blessed Francis, the father remembered Bernard. "Brother Bernard likes this confection," he said to his companions. Calling one of his companions, he told him: "Go, tell Brother Bernard to come to me immediately." The brother went at once and brought him to blessed Francis. Sitting next to the bed where blessed Francis was lying, Brother Bernard said: "Father! I beg you, bless me and show me your love. I believe that, if you show me your love with fatherly affection, God Himself and the other brothers of the religion will love me more."

Blessed Francis was not able to see him, since many days earlier he had lost his sight. Extending his right hand, he placed it on the head of Brother Giles, the third of the first brothers, who at that moment was sitting next to Brother Bernard. He thought he was placing it on the head of Brother Bernard. Feeling the head of Brother Giles, like a person going blind, he immediately recognized him by the Holy Spirit, and said, "This is not the head of my Brother Bernard."b

Brother Bernard immediately drew closer to him. Blessed Francis, placing his hand on his head, blessed him. "Write what I tell you," he then said to one of his companions. "Brother Bernard was the first brother the Lord gave me. He began first and most perfectly fulfilled the perfection of the holy Gospel, distributing all his goods to the

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Compilatio Assisiensis, Fontes Franciscani, p. 1485-1488


13Et hoc vidimus oculis nostris multotiens nos qui fuimus cum a illo, sicut ipse testatur; quod multotiens, cum aliqui fratres non satisfacerent ei in suis necessitatibus vel dicerent ei aliquod verbum, per quod solet homo moveri ad scandalum, statim ibat ad orationem et in reversione sua nolebat recordari dicens: 14Talis frater michi non satisfecit, vel: Dixit michi tale verbum.

15Quanto magis morti appropinquabat, tanto magis erat sollicitus in omni perfectione considerare quomodo in omni humilitate et paupertate vivere et mori posset.

[12]

1In die qua domina Iacoba paravit illam comestionem, beato Francisco, recordatus est pater [fratris] Bernardi, dicens sociis suis: « Hec comestio est bona pro fratre Bernardo ». 2Et vocans ad se unum de sociis suis dixit ei: « Vade, dicas fratri Bernardo, quod statim veniat ad me ». 3Ivit statim frater ille et duxit ipsum ad beatum Franciscum. 4Et sedens coram lecto, ubi iacebat beatus Franciscus, dixit frater Bernardus: « Pater, rogo, ut michi benedicas et ostendas michi dilectionem, quoniam [si] paternali affectione in me ostenderis dilectionem, credo quod ipse Deus et ceteri fratres de Religione amplius me amabunt ».

5Beatus Franciscus non poterat ipsum videre, quoniam per multos dies ante lumen amiserat oculorum; sed extendens dexteram posuit ipsam super caput a fratris Egidii, qui fuit tertius primorum frater et sedebat tunc iuxta fratrem Bernardum, credens ipsam ponere super caput fratris Bernardi, 6et tangens caput fratris Egidii, sicut homo cecutiens, statim cognovit per Spiritum Sanctum, dicens: « Hoc non est caput fratris Bernardi mei ».

7Frater Bernardus statim appropinquavit [se] magis ipsi. 8Beatus Franciscus ponem manum suam super caput ipsius benedixit ipsum. 9Insuper dixit uni de sociis suis: « Scribe, sicut dico tibi: Primus frater quem dedit michi Dominus, fuit frater Bernardus, et qui primo incepit et complevit perfectissime perfectionem sancti Evangelii, distribuendo bona sua omnia pauperibus;

Francis of Assisi: Early Documents, vol. 2, p. 126

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