The Life of Blessed Francis - 606 

not only whatever was in his heart and body,
but also his effort and time.

2He usually neglected no visitation of the Spirit.
Whenever it was offered, he would follow it;
and for as long as the Lord granted,
he enjoyed the sweetness offered.
When he was occupied with travel
and felt the breathing of the divine Spirit,
while his companions went on ahead,
he would stop in his tracks,
as he turned a new inspiration into something fruitful.
He did not receive grace in vain.
Many times he was suspended
in such an excess of contemplation,
that he was carried away above himself and,
experiencing what is beyond human understanding,
he was unaware of what went on about him.

For instance, one time when he was traveling through Borgo San Sepolcro, a heavily populated town, and was riding on a donkey because of physical weakness, crowds rushed to meet him out of devotion. He was touched by them, pulled and shoved by them, yet he seemed not to feel any of this, and as if he were a lifeless corpse, did not notice what was going on around him. Long after he had passed the town and left the crowds, he came to a dwelling of lepers, and the contemplator of heaven, as if returning from somewhere else, anxiously asked when they would be reaching Borgo.

His mind was so fixed on heavenly splendors
that he was not aware
of the differences of place, time, and people that he passed.
That this happened to him often was confirmed
by the repeated experience of his companions.

3And because he had learned in prayer
that the presence of the Holy Spirit for which he longed
was offered more intimately to those who invoke him,
the more It found them
far from the noise of worldly affairs.

Therefore seeking out solitary places, he used to go to deserted and abandoned churches to pray at night. There he often endured

 Previous

Next 

 

Legenda Maior, Fontes Franciscani, p. 863-864


non solum quidquid erat in eo cordis et corporis,
verum etiam operis et temporis dedicasse.

2 1Solitus erat nullam visitationem Spiritus cum negligentia praeterire.
2Siquidem cum offerebatur, sequebatur eam,
et quamdiu Dominus concedebat,
dulcedine perfruebatur oblata.
3Cum autem intentus itineri
divini Spiritus aliquos sentiret afflatus,
sociis praecedentibus,
gradum figebat,
novamque inspirationem ad fruitionem convertens,
gratiam non recipiebat in vacuum.
4Suspendebatur multoties
tanto contemplationis excessu,
ut supra semetipsum raptus et
ultra humanum sensum aliquid sentiens,
quid ageretur circa se exterius, ignoraret.

5Transiens namque semel per Burgum S. Sepulchri, castrum utique populosum, pro debilitate corporis subvectus asello, obvias habuit turbas in eum prae devotione ruentes. 6Tractus autem et detentus ab eis, compressus quoque ac multipliciter attrectatus, insensibilis videbatur ad omnia et velut exanime corpus de his quae fiebant circa ipsum, nihil penitus advertebat. 7Unde cum, iam diu transito castro turbisque relictis, pervenisset ad quoddam domicilium leprosorum, quasi aliunde rediens, caelestium contemplator sollicite requisivit, quando propinquarent ad Burgum.

8Mens quidem ipsius in caelestibus fixa splendoribus,
varietates non senserat
locorum nec temporum nec occurrentium personarum.
9Quod ipsi accidisse frequentius
sociorum eius experientia multiplex comprobavit.

3 1Et quia in oratione perceperat, sancti Spiritus desideratam praesentiam tanto familiarius se offerre precantibus, quanto plus invenit elongatos a strepitu mundanorum, ideo loca solitaria quaerens, ad solitudines et ecclesias derelictas oraturus nocte pergebat; 2ubi daemonum pugnas horribiles frequenter sustinuit,

Francis of Assisi: Early Documents, vol. 2, p. 606

Hardcopies Available for Purchase