The Life of Blessed Francis - 545 

because of its enormous size, seemed to threaten the entire area with destruction. Then he contuiteda issuing from Francis's mouth a golden cross whose top reached the heavens and whose arms stretched far and wide and seemed to extend to the ends of the world. At the sight of its shining splendor, the foul and hideous dragon was put to flight. When he had seen this vision for the third time and realized that it was a divine revelation, he told it point by point to the man of God and his brothers. Not long afterwards, leaving the world, he clung to the footsteps of Christ with such perseverance that his life in the Order confirmed the authenticity of the vision which he had had in the world.

6 On hearing of this vision,
the man of God was not carried away by human glory;
but recognizing God's goodness in his gifts,
he was more strongly inspired to put to flight
our ancient enemy with his cunning
and to preach the glory of the cross of Christ.
One day,
while he was weeping in a solitary place
as he looked back over his past years in bitterness, Is 38:15
the joy of the Holy Spirit came over him
and he was assured of the complete forgiveness of all of his sins.
Then he was caught up above himself
and totally engulfed in a wonderful light,
and, with his inmost soul opened wide,b
he clearly saw what would transpire for him and his sons
in the future.

After this he returned to the brothers and said: "Be strong, my beloved ones, and rejoice in the Lord. Do not be sad because you are so few, nor afraid because of my simplicity or yours. For as the Lord has shown me in truth that He will make us grow into a great multitude and will spread us in countless ways by the grace of his blessing."

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Legenda Maior, Fontes Franciscani, p. 797-798


prae cuius magnitudine nimia tota regio videbatur exterminio subiacere. 4Contuebatur post haec crucem quamdam auream ex ore procedentem Francisci, cuius summitas caelos tangebat, cuiusque brachia protensa in latum, usque ad mundi fines videbantur extendi; ad cuius etiam aspectum praefulgidum draco ille teter et horridus penitus fugabatur. 5Hoc dum sibi tertio monstraretur, divinum aestimans esse oraculum, viro Dei et fratribus suis per ordinem enarravit, ac non multo post tempore mundum relinquens, vestigiis Christi sic perseveranter adhaesit, quod vita ipsius in Ordine authenticam reddidit eam quam in saeculo habuerat visionem.

6 1Ex huius visionis auditu
vir Dei non in gloria est elatus humana,
sed bonitatem Dei in suis beneficiis recognoscens,
fortius animatus est
ad hostis antiqui fugandam,
versutiam et crucis Christi gloriam praedicandam.
2Quadam autem die,
dum in quodam solitario loco
annos suos in amaritudine recogitans deploraret,
sancti Spiritus in eum superveniente laetitia,
certificatus est de remissione plenaria omnium delictorum.
3Raptus deinde supra se
ac in quoddam mirandum lumen totus absorptus,
dilatato mentis sinu,
quae circa se et filios suos futura erant luculenter aspexit.

4Post haec reversus ad fratres: « Confortamini », ait, « carissimi, et gaudete in Domino, nec quia pauci estis, efficiamini tristes, neque vos terreat mea vel vestra simplicitas, 5quoniam, sicut mihi a Domino in veritate ostensum est, in magnam multitudinem faciet nos crescere Deus suaeque benedictionis gratia multipliciter dilatabit ».

Francis of Assisi: Early Documents, vol. 2, p. 545

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