The Legend of the Three Companions - 108 

glorifying Him with his fruitful deeds. For he loved God with such enthusiasm from the depths of his heart that, on hearing His name, completely melting within, he would burst forth saying that heaven and earth must bow at the Lord's name.

69While he was still alive in the flesh, the Lord adorned him with a wonderful prerogative of a unique privilege, wishing to show the whole world the fervor of love and the incessant memory of the Passion of Christ which he carried in his heart.

For when he was taken above in the seraphic ardor of desires into God and into Him, he who, by a boundless love, wanted to be crucified, was transformed by a compassionate sweetness. One morning, around the feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross,a while he was absorbed in prayer on a slope of Mount LaVerna, two years before his death, a seraph with six wings appeared to him. Within its six wings there was the form of a very beautiful, crucified man, whose hands and feet were extended after the manner of a cross, and whose features were clearly those of the Lord Jesus. Two wings covered his head, two, the rest of his body down to the feet, and two were extended as if for flight.

When the vision disappeared, a marvelous glow of love remained in his soul, but, even more marvelous, an impression of the stigmata of our Lord Jesus Christ appeared in his flesh. Until his death, the man of God, unwilling to divulge God's sacrament, concealed it to the best of his ability, although he was unable to cover it completely since it became known to at least his intimate companions.

70After his most happy passing, all the brothers who were present, as well as many seculars, clearly saw his body unmistakably adorned with the wounds of Christ. They saw in his hands and feet, not just the holes of the nails, but the nails themselves formed by his own flesh, taking shape from it, and showing the dark color of iron. His right side appeared as if pierced with a lance, covered with a red scar from a very real and very visible wound, which, even while he was living, frequently poured out sacred blood.

The undeniable truth of those stigmata appeared most brilliantly through sight and contact not only in his life and in death, but also after his death, the Lord revealed their truth even more brilliantly by many miracles shown in different parts of the world. Through these miracles, the hearts of many who did not look kindly on the man of God and doubted the stigmata were also moved to a great assurance of faith. Thus, those who had been his detractors, by God's active

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Legenda Trium Sociorum, Fontes Franciscani, p. 1440-1442


assidue memoriam eius habens in mente ipsumque ore collaudans et glorificans operibus fructuosis. 4Sic enim ferventissime ac praecordialiter Deum dilexit, quod audiens eum nominari, liquefactus totus interius, exterius prorumpebat, dicens caelum et terra deberent ad nomen Domini inclinari.

69 1Cuius dilectionis fervorem et iugem passionis Christi memoriam quam gerebat in corde volens ipse Dominus ostendere toti mundo, singularis privilegii mirabili praerogativa ipsum adhuc viventem in carne mirabiliter decoravit.

2Cum enim seraphicis desideriorum ardoribus sursum ageretur in Deum et in illum qui caritate nimia crucifigi voluit, transformaretur dulcedine compassiva, 3quodam mane circa festum Exaltationis sanctae Crucis, cum oraret in latere montis qui dicitur Alverna, duobus scilicet annis ante obitum suum, apparuit ei seraph unus sex alas habens et inter alas gerens formam pulcherrimi hominis crucifixi, manus quidem et pedes extensos habentis in modum crucis, effigiemque Domini Iesu clarissime praetendentis. 4Duabus enim alis velabat caput et duabus reliquum corpus usque ad pedes, duae vero ad volandum extendebantur.

5Qua visione disparente, mirabilis in anima ipsius remansit ardor amoris, sed in carne eius mirabilior apparuit impressio stigmatum Domini Iesu Christi. 6Quae vir Dei pro posse abscondit usque ad mortem, nolens publicare Domini sacramentum, licet haec penitus celare nequiverit quin saltem familiaribus sociis fuerit manifestum.

70 1Sed post felicissimum eius transitum omnes fratres qui aderant et saeculares quamplurimi manifestissime viderunt corpus suum Christi stigmatibus decoratum. 2Cernebant enim in manibus et pedibus eius, non quidem clavorum puncturas sed ipsos clavos ex eius carne compositos et eidem carni innatos, ferri quoque nigredinem praetendebant. 3Dexterum vero latus quasi lancea transfixum, verissimi ac manifestissimi vulneris rubra cicatrice erat obductum, quod etiam sacrum sanguinem dum viveret saepius effundebat.

4Quorum siquidem stigmatum infrangibilis veritas non solum in vita et in morte eius per visum et contactum patentissimum luculenter apparuit, verum etiam post mortem ipsius per multa miracula in diversis mundi partibus ostensa, Dominus ipsam, veritatem clarius patefecit. 5Quibus etiam miraculis multorum corda qui de viro Dei recte non senserant et de eius stigmatibus dubitaverant, ad tantam fidei certitudinem sunt mutata 6quod qui prius detractores eius fuerant, bonitate Dei operante et ipsa veritate cogente, ipsius laudatores et praedicatores fidelissimi exstiterunt.

Francis of Assisi: Early Documents, vol. 2, p. 108

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