The Life of Blessed Francis - 560 

Chapter Five

THE AUSTERITY OF HIS LIFE
AND HOW CREATURES PROVIDED HIM COMFORT

1 When the man of God, Francis, saw
that many were being inspired
by his example
to carry the cross of Christ with fervent spirit,
he himself, like a good leader of Christ's army,
was encouraged to reach the palm of victory Rv 7:9
through the height of heroic virtue.a
He directed his attention to this text of the Apostle:
Those who belong to Christ
have crucified their flesh
with its passions and desires. Gal 5:24b
To carry in his own body the armor of the cross,
he held in check his sensual appetites with such a rigid discipline
that he scarcely took what was necessary
for the sustenance of nature.

He used to say that it would be difficult to satisfy the necessity of the body without giving in to the earthbound inclinations of the

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Legenda Maior, Fontes Franciscani, p. 813


Caput V

- De austeritate vitae
et quomodo creaturae praebebant ei solatium.

1 1Cum igitur cerneret vir Dei Franciscus
suo exemplo
ad crucem Christi baiulandam ferventi spiritu
plurimos animari,
animabatur et ipse tamquam bonus dux exercitus Christi
ad palmam victoriae
per culmen invictae pervenire virtutis.
2Attendens enim illud Apostoli verbum:
Qui autem sunt Christi
carnem suam crucifixerunt
cum vitiis et concupiscentiis:
ut crucis armaturam suo ferret in corpore,
tanta disciplinae rigiditate sensuales appetitus arcebat,
ut vix necessaria sumeret
sustentafioni naturae.

3Difficile namque fore dicebat necessitati corporis satisfacere, et pronitati sensuum non parere.

Francis of Assisi: Early Documents, vol. 2, p. 560

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