The Life of Blessed Francis - 541 

here he ended happily.
This place
he entrusted to his brothers at his death
as the the most beloved of the Virgin.

Before his conversion, a certain brother, dedicated to God, had a vision about this church which is worth telling. He saw countless people who had been stricken with blindness, on their knees in a circle around this church, with their faces raised to heaven. All of them, with tearful voices and uplifted hands, were crying out to God, begging for mercy and light. Then a great light came down from heaven and, diffusing itself through them, gave each the sight and health they desired.

This is the place
where the Order of Lesser Brothers
was begun by Saint Francis
under the prompting of divine revelation.
For at the bidding of divine providence
which guided Christ's servant in everything,
he built up three material churches
before he preached the Gospel
and began the Order not only
to ascend in an orderly progression
from the sensible to the intelligible,
from the lesser to the greater,
but also
to symbolize mystically
in external actions perceived by the senses
what he would do in the future.a
For like the three buildings he built up,
so the Church
—where there is victory
for the triple army of those being saved—
was to be renewed in three ways
under his leadership:
by the form, rule, and teaching of Christ
which he would provide.
And now we see
that this prophecy has been fulfilled.




Legenda Maior, Fontes Franciscani, p. 793-794

hic feliciter consummavit,
in morte fratribus tamquam
Virgini carissimum commendavit.

5De hoc frater quidam Deo devotus ante conversionem suam visionem viderat relatione condignam. 6Innumeros cernebat homines caecitate percussos, facie in caelum directa et genibus flexis, in huius ecclesiae stare circuitu. 7Qui omnes, protensis manibus in altum, lacrimabiliter clamabant ad Deum, misericordiam postulantes et lumen. 8Et ecce ingens de caelo splendor advenit, se per omnes diffundens, qui lumen unicuique tribuit et salutem desideratam concessit.

- 9Hic est locus,
in quo Fratrum Minorum Ordo
a sancto Francisco
per divinae revelationis instinctum inchoatus est.
10Divinae namque providentiae nutu,
qua Christi servus dirigebatur in omnibus,
tres materiales erexit ecclesias,
antequam, Ordinem inchoans,
Evangelium praedicaret,
11ut non solum a sensibilibus ad intelligibilia,
a minoribus ad maiora
ordinato progressu conscenderet,
verum etiam,
ut quid esset facturus in posterum,
sensibili foris opere
mysterialiter praesignaret.
12Nam instar reparatae triplicis fabricae
ipsius sancti viri ducatu,
secundum datam ab eo formam,
regulam et doctrinam Christi
triformiter renovanda erat Ecclesia
trinaque triumphatura militia salvandorum,
sicut et nunc cernimus
esse completum.

Francis of Assisi: Early Documents, vol. 2, p. 541