The Life of Blessed Francis - 601 

happened that, when the crew was unable to land anywhere for many days because of the force of the winds, they used up all their food. Only the alms given from above to the poor Francis remained. Since this was only a very small amount, by God's power it was multiplied so much that while they were delayed at sea for many days by the relentless storm, it fully supplied their needs until they reached the port of Ancona. When the sailors realized that they had escaped many threats of death through God's servant, as those who had experienced the horrifying dangers of the sea and had seen the wonderful works of the Lord in the deep, they gave thanks to almighty God, who is always revealed through his friends and servants as awesome and lovable.

6When he left the sea, he began to walk the earth and to sow in it the seed of salvation, reaping fruitful harvests. But, because the fruit of martyrdom had attracted his heart to such an extent, he desired a precious death for the sake of Christ more intensely than all the merits of the virtues. So he took the road to Morocco to preach the Gospel of Christ to the Miramamolin and his people,a hoping to attain in this way the palm of martyrdom he so strongly desired. He was so carried away with desire that, although he was physically weak, he would race ahead of his companion on the journey and hurry to carry out his purpose, flying along, as if intoxicated in spirit. But after he had gone as far as Spain, by the divine design, which had other things in store for him, he was overtaken by a very grave illness which hindered him from achieving what he desired.

Realizing, then,
that his physical life was still necessary
for the children he had begotten,
the man of God,
while he considered death as gain for himself,
returned to feed the sheep entrusted to his care.

7But with the ardor of his charity
urging his spirit on toward martyrdom,
he tried yet a third time to set out to the non-believers,
hoping to shed his blood
for the spread of the faith in the Trinity.

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Legenda Maior, Fontes Franciscani, p. 858-859


9Sicque factum est, ut nautis propter vim ventorum per dies plurimos nusquam applicare valentibus, omnia ipsorum consumerentur cibaria, et sola pauperi Francisco collata desuper eleemosyna superesset. 10Quae cum esset permodica, tantum divina virtute suscepit augmentum, ut diebus pluribus in mari propter tempestatem continuam contrahentibus moram usque ad portum Anconae omnium necessitatibus plenarie subveniret. 11Videntes itaque nautae, per servum Dei multa se mortis evasisse discrimina, tamquam qui maris horrenda pericula senserant et miranda opera Domini viderant in profundo, gratias egerunt omnipotenti Deo, qui semper in suis amicis et servis mirabilem et amabilem se ostendit.

6 1Cum autem, relicto mari, terram perambulare coepisset, iactato in eam salutis semine, reportabat manipulos fructuosos. 2Verum quia martyrii fructus adeo cor eius allexerat, ut pretiosam pro Christo mortem super omnia virtutum merita peroptaret, versus Marrochium iter arripuit, ut Miramamolino et genti eius Christi Evangelium praedicaret, si quo modo ad concupitam palmam valeret attingere. 3Tanto namque desiderio ferebatur, ut quamvis esset imbecillis corpore, peregrinationis suae praecurreret comitem et ad exsequendum propositum festinus, tamquam spiritu ebrius, advolaret. 4Sed cum iam usque in Hispaniam perrexisset, divina dispositione, quae ipsuin reservabat ad alia, gravissima ei supervenit infirmitas, qua praepeditus, quod cupiebat adimplere nequivit.

5Sentiens igitur
vir Dei,
quod necessaria erat adhuc
proli quam genuerat ipsius vita in carne,
quamvis mortem sibi lucrum esse putaret,
rediit ad pascendum oves suae sollicitudini commendatas.

7 1Verum caritatis ardore
spiritum ipsius ad martyrium perurgente,
tertia adhuc vice pro fide Trinitatis effusione
sui sanguinis dilatanda versus
infideles proficisci tentavit.

Francis of Assisi: Early Documents, vol. 2, p. 601

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