The Assisi Compilation - 129 

mands and wishes of the Son of God.a Moreover, so that she would put aside all her grief and be consoled in the Lord, he, or rather the Spirit of God speaking through him, spoke to the brother she had sent. "Go and take this letter to Lady Clare, and tell her to put aside all her grief and sorrow over not being able to see me now. Let her be assured that before her death, both she and her sisters will see me and will receive the greatest consolation from me."

Soon afterwards blessed Francis passed away during the night. In the morning, all the people of the city of Assisi, men and women, with all the clergy, took the holy body from the place where he had died. With hymns and praises, all carrying tree branches, they carried him to San Damiano at the Lord's will, in order to fulfill that word which the Lord had spoken through His saint to console His daughters and servants.

The iron grille was removed from the window through which the servants of Christ usually receive communion and sometimes hear the word of God. The brothers lifted his holy body from the stretcher and, raising him in their arms, they held him in front of the window for over an hour. By then Lady Clare and her sisters had received the greatest consolation from him, although they wept profusely and were afflicted with great grief, because, after God, he was their one consolation in this world.b

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[A FLOCK OF LARKS SING ABOVE THE HUT WHERE HE IS DYING]

Saturday evening before nightfall, after vespers, when blessed Francis passed to the Lord, many birds called larks flew low above the roof of the house where blessed Francis lay, wheeling in a circle and singing.

We, who were with blessed Francis, and who wrote these things about him, bear witness that we often heard him say: "If I ever speak to the emperor, I will beg him, for the love of God and by my entreaties, to enact a written law forbidding anyone to catch our sister larks or do them any harm. Likewise, all mayors of cities and lords of castles and villages should be bound to oblige people each year on the Nativity of the Lord to scatter wheat and other grain along the roads outside towns and villages, so that all the birds, but especially our sister larks, may have something to eat on such a solemn feast. Also,

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Compilatio Assisiensis, Fontes Franciscani, p. 1491-1493


in eius mandatis et voluntatibus et mandatis et voluntatibus Filii Dei. 8Insuper ut deponeret omnem tristitiam et consolaretur in Domino, non ipse, sed Spiritus Dei locutus est in eo hec verba dicens eidem fratri, quem ipsa miserat: 9« Vade et porta litteram hanc domine Clare et dices ei quod deponat omnem dolorem et tristitiam, quia modo me videre non potest; 10sed in veritate sciat quod ante obitum suum tam ipsa, quam eius sorores me videbunt et maximam consolationem de me habebunt ».

11Factum est autem ut, cum paulo post migraret de nocte beatus Franciscus, mane facto, universus populus virorum et mulierum civitatis Assisii, cum universo clero, tollentes sanctum corpus de loco, ubi obierat, cum hymnis et laudibus, et accipientes singuli ramos arborum de voluntate Domini portarent illud ad Sanctum Damianum, 12ut impleretur sermo quem Dominus locutus est in sancto suo ad consolandum filias et ancillas suas.

13Et remota crate ferrea de fenestra, per quam Christi ancille communicare solent et aliquando audire verbum Dei, tulerunt fratres sanctum corpus de lecto et tenuerunt ipsum inter brachia ad fenestram per magnam horam, 14donec domina Clara ac eius sorores haberent de ipso maximam consolationem, licet lacrimis multis plene et afflicte doloribus essent, quoniam post Deum ipse erat unica consolatio earum in hoc seculo.

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1Sero diei sabbati post vesperas ante noctem qua migravit ad Dominum beatus Franciscus, multe aves, que dicuntur laude, supra tectum domus in qua iacebat beatus Franciscus, non multum [alte] volabant et faciebant rotam ad modum circuli cantando.

2Nos vero qui fuimus cum a beato Francisco, qui de ipso hec scripsimus, testimonium p[er]hibemus, quod multotiens audivimus ipsum dicentem: 3« Si locutus fuero imperatori, supplicabo ei, ut amore Dei et mei precaminis interventu faciat constitutum et scriptum, ut nullus homo capiat sorores laudas vel faciat ipsis quidquam mali. 4Similiter quod omnes potestates civitatum et domini castrorum et villarum teneantur quolibet anno in Nativitate Domini compellere homines ad prohiciendum de frumento et aliis [granis] per vias extra civitates et castella, ut habeant ad comedendum, maxime sorores laude et alie aves in die tante solemnitatis.

Francis of Assisi: Early Documents, vol. 2, p. 129

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