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 The Legend of the Three Companions - 76 

A few days had passed when, while he was walking by the church of San Damiano, he was told in the Spirit to go inside for a prayer. Once he entered, he began to pray intensely before an image of the Crucified,a which spoke to him in a tender and kind voice: "Francis, don't you see that my house is being destroyed? Go, then, and rebuild it for me." Stunned and trembling, he said: "I will do so gladly, Lord." For he understood that it was speaking about that church, which was near collapse because of its age. He was filled with such joy and became so radiant with light over that message, that he knew in his soul that it was truly Christ crucified who spoke to him.

Upon leaving the church, he found a priest sitting nearbyb and, putting his hands into the pouch, he offered him a handful of coins. "My Lord," he said, "I beg you, buy some oil and keep the light before the Crucified burning continually. When this money runs out, I will again give you as much as you need."

14From that hour, therefore, his heart was wounded and it melted when remembering the Lord's passion. While he lived, he always carried the wounds of the Lord Jesus in his heart. This was brilliantly shown afterwards in the renewal of those wounds that were miraculously impressed on and most clearly revealed in his body.

From then on, he inflicted his flesh with such fasting that, whether healthy or sick, the excessively austere man hardly ever or never wanted to indulge his body. Because of this he confessed on his death bed that he had greatly sinned against "Brother Body."

Once he was walking by himself near the church of Saint Mary of the Portiuncula, weeping and wailing loudly. A spiritual man, overhearing him, thought he was suffering some sickness or pain. Moved by piety for him,c he asked why he was crying. "I am crying because of the Passion of my Lord," he said, "for whom I should not be ashamed to go throughout the world crying in a loud voice." That man, in fact, likewise began to cry with him in a loud voice.

Frequently, even when he got up from prayer, his eyes seemed full of blood because he was crying with such bitterness. But, in memory of the Lord's passion, not only did he afflict himself in tears, he also did so by abstaining from food and drink.

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Legenda Trium Sociorum, Fontes Franciscani, p. 1385-1387


6Paucis autem diebus elapsis, cum ambularet iuxta ecclesiam Sancti Damiani, dictum est illi in spiritu ut in eam ad orationem intraret. 7Quam ingressus coepit orare ferventer coram quadam imagine Crucifixi, quae pie ac benigne locuta est ei dicens: « Francisce, nonne vides quod domus mea destruitur? Vade igitur et repara illam mihi ». 8Et tremens ac stupens ait: « Libenter faciam, Domine ». 9Intellexit enim de illa ecclesia sibi dici, quae prae nimia vetustate casum proximum minabatur. 10De illa autem allocutione tanto fuit repletus gaudio et lumine illustratus, quod in anima sua veraciter sensit fuisse Christum crucifixum qui locutus est ei.

11Exiens vero ecclesiam, invenit sacerdotem iuxta eam sedentem, mittensque manum ad bursam obtulit ei quamdam pecuniae quantitatem 12dicens: « Rogo te, Domine, ut emas oleum et facias continue ardere lampadem coram illo Crucifixo. 13Et cum ad hoc opus consumpta fuerit haec pecunia, iterum offeram tibi quantum fuerit opportunum ».

14 1Ab illa itaque hora ita vulneratum et liquefactum est cor eius ad memoriam Dominicae passionis quod semper dum vixit stigmata Domini Iesu in corde suo portavit, sicut postea luculenter apparuit ex renovatione eorumdem stigmatum in corpore ipsius mirabiliter facta et clarissime demonstrata.

2Exinde tanta se carnis maceratione afflixit, quod, sanus et infirmus, corpori suo nimis austerus existens vix aut nunquam sibi voluit indulgere. 3Propter quod, die mortis eius instante, confessus est se multum peccasse in fratrem corpus.

4Quadam autem vice, solus ibat prope ecclesiam Sanctae Mariae de Portiuncula, plangendo et eiulando alta voce . 5Quem audiens, quidam vir spiritualis putavit ipsum pati infirmitatem aliquam vel dolorem, et pietate motus circa eum, interrogavit illum cur fleret. 6At ille dixit: « Plango passionem Domini mei, pro quo non deberem verecundari alta voce ire plorando per totum mundum » 7Ille vero coepit cum. ipso similiter plangere alta voce.

8Saepe etiam cum ab oratione surgebat, videbantur eius oculi pleni sanguine quia fleverat multum amare. 9Non solum autem affligebat se in lacrimis, sed etiam abstinentia cibi et potus, ob memoriam Dominicae passionis.

Francis of Assisi: Early Documents, vol. 2, p. 76

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