The Life of Blessed Francis - 544 

hearing this, God's servant was filled with the consolation of the Holy Spirit over the conception of his first child. "This requires counsel that is from God," he said.

When morning had broken they went into the church of Saint Nicholas, and, after they had prepared with a prayer, Francis, a worshiper of the Trinity, opened the book of the Gospels three times asking God to confirm Bernard's plan with a threefold testimony. At the first opening of the book this text appeared: If you will be perfect, go, sell all that you have, and give to the poor. Mt 19:21 At the second: Take nothing on your journey. Lk 9:3 And at the third: If anyone wishes to come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. Mt 16:24 "This is our life and rule," the holy man said, "and that of all who wish to join our company. Mt 19:21 Go, then, if you wish to be perfect, and carry out what you have heard."

4Not long afterwards five other men were called by the same Spirit, and the number of Francis's sons reached six. The third among them was the holy father Giles, a man indeed filled with God and worthy of his celebrated reputation.a Although he was a simple and unlearned man, he later became famous for his practice of heroic virtue, as God's servant had prophesied, and was raised to the height of exalted contemplation. For through the passage of time, he was continually intent on elevations; b and he was so often rapt into God in ecstasy, as I myself have observed as an eyewitness, that he seemed to live among people more like an angel than a human being.

5Also at that time a priest of the town of Assisi, Sylvester, a man of an upright way of life, was shown a vision by the Lord which should not be passed over in silence. Reacting in a purely human way, he had an abhorrence for the bearing and the way of Francis and his brothers. But then he was visited by grace from heaven in order to save him from the danger of rash judgment. For he saw in a dream the whole town of Assisi encircled by a huge dragon which,

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Legenda Maior, Fontes Franciscani, p. 796-797


4Quo audito, Dei famulus pro primae prolis coneeptu sancti Spiritus consolatione repletus: « A Deo est », inquit, « hoc consilium requirendum. ».

5Intraverunt proinde ecclesiam Sancti Nicolai mane iam facto, et oratione praemissa, cultor Trinitatis Franciscus ter Evangeliorum librum aperuit, trino exposcens a Deo testimonio sanctum Bernardi propositum confirmari. 6In prima libri apertione illud occurrit: Si vis perfectus esse, vade, vende omnia quae habes, et da pauperibus. 7In secunda: Nihil tuleritis in via. 8In tertia vero: Qui vult venire post me, abneget semetipsum et tollat crucem suam et sequatur me. 9« Haec est », ait vir sanctus, « vita et regula nostra omniumque, qui nostrae voluerint societati coniungi. 10Vade igitur, si vis esse perfectus, et perfice quae audisti ».

4 1Non multo post vocatis eodem spiritu quinque viris, filiorum Francisci senarius numerus completus est; 2inter quos tertium sortitus est locum sanctus pater Aegidius, vir utique Deo plenus et celebri memoria dignus. 3Hic etenim postmodum virtutum sublimium exercitatione praeclarus, sicut famulus Domini de ipso praedixit, quamquam esset idiota et simplex, ad excelsae contemplationis sublimatus est verticem. 4Nam per multa curricula temporum sursumactionibus incessanter intentus, adeo crebris in Deum rapiebatur excessibus, 5quemadmodum et ego ipse oculata fide conspexi, ut magis censeretur inter homines vitam angelicam agere quam humanam.

5 1Illo quoque tempore cuidam sacerdoti civitatis Assisii, nomine Silvestro, honestae conversationis viro, quaedam a Domino fuit ostensa visio non tacenda. 2Cum enim modum et viam Francisci fratrumque suorum humano spiritu abhorreret, ne periclitaretur pro temeritate iudicii, respectu fuit supernae gratiae visitatus. 3Videbat namque in somnis totam Assisii civitatem a dracone magno circumdari,

Francis of Assisi: Early Documents, vol. 2, p. 544

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