The Life of Blessed Francis - 607 

horrible struggles with devils who would assault him physically, trying to distract him from his commitment to prayer. But armed with heavenly weapons, the more vehemently he was attacked by the enemy, the more courageous he became in practicing virtue and the more fervent in prayer, saying confidently to Christ: "Under the shadow of your wings, protect me from the face of the wicked who have attacked me." To the devils he said: "Do whatever you want to me, you malicious and deceitful spirits! For you cannot do anything unless the heavenly hand relaxes its hold on you. And I am ready to endure with delight whatever He decrees." The demons retreated confused, not tolerating such firmness of mind.

4The man of God
remaining more alone and at peace
would fill the forest with groans,
water the places with tears,
strike his breast with his hand,
and, as if finding a more secret hiding place,
would converse with his Lord.
There he replied to the Judge,
there he entreated the Father,
there he conversed with the Friend.
There too the brothers who were devoutly observing him
heard him on several occasions groan with loud cries,
imploring the divine clemency for sinners,
and weeping over the Lord's passion
as if it were before him.
There he was seen praying at night,
with his hands outstretched in the form of a cross,
his whole body lifted up from the ground
and surrounded by a sort of shining cloud,
so that the extraordinary illumination around his body
was a witness to the wonderful light that shone within his soul.
There too,
as is proven by certain evidence,
the unknown and hidden secrets of divine wisdom
were opened up to him,
although he never spoke of them outside
except when the love of Christ urged 2 Cor 5:14 him
and the good of his neighbor demanded.
For he used to say:
"It happens that one loses something priceless

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Legenda Maior, Fontes Franciscani, p. 864-865


2ubi daemonum pugnas horribiles frequenter sustinuit, qui secum sensibiliter confligentes, nitebantur ipsuin ab orationis studio pertubare. 3Ipse vero armis munitus caelestibus, quanto vehementius impetebatur ab hostibus, tanto fortior in virtute et ferventior reddebatur in prece, 4fidenter dicens ad Christum: « Sub umbra alarum tuarum protege me a facie impiorum, qui me afflixerunt ». 5Ad daemones autem: « Facite quidquid in me valetis, maligni spiritus et fallaces! 6Non enim potestis, nisi quantum vos manus superna relaxat; 7et ego ad perferendum omnia, quae illa infligenda decreverit, cum omni iucunditate paratus assisto ». 8Quam mentis constantiam superbi daemones non ferentes, abscedebant confusi.

4 1Vir autem Dei
solitarius remanens et pacatus,
nemora replebat gemitibus,
loca spargebat lacrymis,
pectora manu tundebat,
et quasi occultius secretarium nactus,
confabulabatur cum Domino suo.
2Ibi respondebat iudici,
ibi supplicabat patri,
ibi colloquebatur amico,
ibi quoque a fratribus ipsum pie observantibus
aliquoties auditus est clamorosis gemitibus
apud divinam pro peccatoribus interpellare clementiam,
deplorare etiam alta voce
quasi coram positam dominicam passionem.
3Ibi visus est nocte orans,
manibus ad modum crucis protensis,
toto corpore sublevatus a terra
et nubecula quadam fulgente circumdatus,
ut illustrationis mirabilis intra mentem
mira circa corpus perlustratio testis esset.
4Ibi etiam,
sicut certis est comprobatum indiciis,
incerta sibi et occulta divinae sapientiae
pandebantur,
quamvis illa non vulgaret exterius,
nisi quantuin Christi urgebat caritas
et proximorum utilitas exigebat.
5Dicebat enim:
« Levi mercede rem impretiabilem contingit amitti,

Francis of Assisi: Early Documents, vol. 2, p. 607

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