The Legend of the Three Companions - 107 

minds to love of God and to doing penance, they came to them and humbly accepted the habit of holy religion.

67Seeing the trust and love that the Lord of Ostia had for the brothers, blessed Francis loved him most affectionately from the depths of his heart. And because he knew, through an earlier revelation of God, that he would be the future Supreme Pontiff, he predicted this in the letters he wrote to him, calling him the father of the whole world. For he wrote to him in this manner: "To the venerable father of the whole world in Christ . . . "

Shortly afterwards, after the death of the Lord Pope Honorius III, that Lord of Ostia was elected the Supreme Pontiff, named Pope Gregory IX, who, until the end of his life was a remarkable benefactor and protector of the brothers as well as of other religious, and above all, of Christ's poor.a For this reason, he is believed to be numbered deservedly in the gathering of the saints.b

Chapter XVII
THE DEATH OF BLESSED FRANCIS
AND HOW TWO YEARS EARLIER
HE RECEIVED THE STIGMATA OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST

68After twenty years of clinging most perfectly to Christ, and of following the life and footsteps of the apostles, in the one thousandth, two hundredth, and twenty-sixth year of the Incarnation of the Lord, on the fourth of October, a Sunday, Francis, that apostolic man, most joyfully passed to Christ, winning eternal rest after many labors, and fittingly entering into the presence of the Lord.

One of his followers, renowned for his sanctity, saw his soul like a star as big as the moon with the brilliance of the sun, rising up above the great waters, and borne up to heaven by a brilliant cloud.

For he had worked intensely in the Lord's vineyard, eager and fervent in his prayers, fasts, vigils, sermons, and wholesome journeys, in care and compassion for his neighbor, and in disregard of himself. From the beginning of his conversion to the day of his passing to Christ, he had loved Him with his whole heart, constantly keeping the memory of Him in his mind, praising Him with his mouth, and

atque audientes eorum verba dulcissima moventia et inflammantia mentes ad amorem Dei et ad poenitentiam faciendam, venerunt ad ipsos, 7et sanctae religionis habitum ferventer et humiliter susceperunt.

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Legenda Trium Sociorum, Fontes Franciscani, p. 1436-1440


67 1Videns autem beatus Franciscus fidem et dilectionem quam habebat ad fratres dictus dominus Ostiensis, ipsum cum intimis cordis affectuosissime diligebat. 2Et quoniam revelatione Dei praevia sciebat eum futurum summum pontificem, semper hoc ei praenuntiabat in litteris quas scribebat eidem, vocans ipsum patrem totius mundi. 3Sic enim scribebat sibi: « Venerabili in Christo patri totius mundi etc. ».

4Post modicum vero tempus, mortuo domino Honorio papa tertio, ipse dominus Ostiensis electus est in summum pontificem, vocatus Gregorius papa nonus, qui tam fratrum, quam aliorum, religiosorum et maxime pauperum Christi usque in finem vitae suae, extitit benefactor praecipuus et defensor. 5Unde non immerito creditur ipsum esse sanctorum collegio sociatum.

Caput XVII
De sacratissima morte beati Francisci
et qualiter per biennium ante
receperat stigmata Domini nostri Iesu Christi.

68 1Post viginti autem annos ex quo perfectissime Christo adhaesit, apostolorum vitam et vestigia sequens, apostolicus vir Franciscus, anno dominicae Incarnationis millesimo ducentesimo vigesimo sexto, quarto nonas octobris, die dominico, felicissime migravit ad Christum post multos labores requiem aeternam adeptus et digne Domini sui conspectibus praesentatus.

2Cuius animam vidit unus ex discipulis eius sanctitate famosus, quasi stellam lunae immensitatem habentem et claritatem solis praetendentem, super aquas multas subvectam a nubecula candida, recto tramite in caelum conscendere.

3Laboraverat enim multum in vinea Domini, sollicitus et fervens in orationibus, ieiuniis, vigiliis, praedicationibus et salutaribus itineribus, in cura et compassione proximorum suique abiectione, a suae conversionis initio usque ad transmigrationem ipsius ad Christum quem ex toto corde dilexerat, assidue memoriam eius habens in mente ipsumque ore collaudans et glorificans operibus fructuosis.

Francis of Assisi: Early Documents, vol. 2, p. 107

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