The Assisi Compilation - 203 

that you are near death due to your serious and incurable sickness, upon hearing praises of this sort being sung, they can think and say to themselves: 'How can he show such joy when he is so near death? He should be thinking about death.'

"Do you remember," blessed Francis said to him, "when you saw the vision at Foligno and told me that it told you that I would live for only two years? Before you saw that vision, through the grace of the Holy Spirit, who suggests every good in the heart, and places it on the lips of his faithful, I often considered day and night my end. But from the time you saw that vision, each day I have been even more zealous reflecting on the day of my death."

He continued with great intensity of spirit: "Allow me to rejoice in the Lord, Brother, and to sing His praises in my infirmities, because, by the grace of the Holy Spirit, I am so closely united and joined with my Lord, that, through His mercy, I can well rejoice in the Most High Himself."

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[A DOCTOR NAMED JOHN TELLS HIM HE WILL DIE SOON:
"WELCOME, MY SISTER DEATH!"]

Another time during those days, a doctor from the city of Arezzo, named Good John, who was known and familiar to blessed Francis, came to visit him in the bishop's palace. Blessed Francis asked about his sickness saying: "How does my illness of dropsy seem to you, Brother John?"

For blessed Francis did not want to address anyone called "Good" by their name, out of reverence for the Lord, who said: No one is good but God alone. Lk 18:19 Likewise, he did not want to call anyone "father" or "master," nor write them in letters, out of reverence for the Lord, who said: Call no one on earth your father nor be called masters, etc.

The doctor said to him: "Brother, by the grace of the Lord, it will be well with you." For he did not want to tell him that he would die in a little while.

Again blessed Francis said to him: "Tell me the truth. How does it look to you? Do not be afraid, for, by the grace of God, I am not a coward who fears death. With the Lord's help, by His mercy and grace, I am so united and joined with my Lord that I am equally as happy to die as I am to live."

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Compilatio Assisiensis, Fontes Franciscani, p. 1633-1635


tamen quia credunt firmiter propter tuam magnam et incurabilem infirmitatem te in proximo moriturum, audientes huiusmodi Laudes cantari, possent cogitare aut dicere intra se:

7Quomodo tantam letitiam hie ostendit qui est prope mortem? Deberet enim de morte cogitare ». 8Dixit ad eum beatus Franciscus: « Recordaris cum apud Fulgineum visionem vidisti et dixisti michi, quod quidam dixit tibi, quod non deberem vivere nisi duobus annis? 9Antequam illam visionem vi deres, per gratiam Sancti Spiritus, qui omne bonum suggerit a in corde et in ore ponit fidelium suorum, sepe de die et nocte considerabam finem meum; 10sed ab illa hora, qua visionem vidisti, cotidie fui magis sollicitus considerare diem mortis ».

11Et ait cum magno fervore spiritus: « Dimitte me, frater, gaudere in Domino et in laudibus eius, in infirmitatibus meis, 12quoniam, gratia Spiritus Sancti cooperante, ita sum unitus et coniunctus cum Domino meo, quod per misericordiam suam bene possum in ipso Altissimo iucundari».

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1Alia vice in illis diebus quidam medicus, nomine Bonus Iohannes, de civitate Aretii, qui notus et familiaris erat beato Francisco, in eodem palatio visitavit eum. 2Quem beatus Franciscus interrogavit de sua infirmitate dicens: « Quid tibi videtur, frater Janni, de hac mea infirmitate hydropisi? ».

3Nam beatus Franciscus nolebat aliquem nominare, qui nomine vocaretur Bonus, propter reverentiam Domini, qui dixit: Nemo bonus, nisi solus Deus. 4Similiter nec [patrem nec magistrum volebat aliquem nominare nec] in litteris scribere propter reverentiam Domini qui dixit: Et patrem nolite vobis vocare super terram, nec vocemini magistri etc.

5Dixit ad eum medicus: « Frater, bene tibi erit per gratiam Domini ». 6Nolebat enim dicere quod in brevi deberet mori.

7Iterum dixit ei beatus Franciscus: « Dic michi veritatem: quid tibi videtur? 8Noli timere, quoniam per gratiam Dei non sum corculus, ut mortem timeam, quoniam, Domino cooperante, per misericordiam et gratiam suam ita sum coniunctus et unitus cum Domino meo, quod eque sum contentus de morte sicut de vita et converso ».

Francis of Assisi: Early Documents, vol. 2, p. 203

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