The Life of Blessed Francis - 640 

Chapter Fourteen

HIS PATIENCE
AND
PASSING IN DEATHa

1Now fixed with Christ to the cross,
in both body and spirit,
Francis
not only burned with a seraphic love into God
but also thirsted with Christ crucified
for the multitude of those to be saved.

Since he could not walk because of the nails protruding from his feet, he had his half-dead body carried through the towns and villages Lk 8:1 to arouse others to carry the cross Lk 9:23 of Christ. He used to say to the brothers: "Let us begin, brothers, to serve the Lord our God, for up to now we have done little." He burned with a great desire to return to the humility he practiced at the beginning; to nurse the lepers as he did at the outset and to treat like a slave once more his body that was already in a state of collapse from his work.

With the Christ as leader,
he resolved "to do great deeds,"
and although his limbs were weakening,
he hoped

for victory over the enemy in a new struggle
with a brave and burning spirit.
For there is no room for apathy and laziness
where the goad of love

always urges to greater things.
There was in him such harmony of flesh with spirit,
such readiness of obedience,
that, when he strove to attain all holiness,

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Legenda Maior, Fontes Franciscani, p. 898-899


Caput XIV

De patientia ipsius et transitu mortis.

1 1Christo igitur iam cruci confixus
Franciscus
tam carne quam spiritu,
non solum seraphico amore ardebat in Deum,
verum etiam sitiebat cum Christo crucifixo
multitudinem salvandorum.

2Faciebat proinde, quoniam propter excrescentes in pedibus clavos ambulare non poterat, corpus emortuum per civitates et castella circumvehi, ut ad crucem Christi ferendam ceteros animaret. 3Fratribus quoque dicebat: « Incipiamus, fratres, servire Domino Deo nostro, quia usque nunc parum profecimus ». 4Flagrabat etiam desiderio magno ad humilitatis redire primordia, ut leprosis sicut a principio ministraret corpusque iam prae labore collapsum revocaret ad pristinam servitutem.

5Proponebat, Christo duce,
se facturum ingentia,
et fatiscentibus membris,
spiritu fortis et fervidus novo
sperabat
certamine de hoste triumphum.
6Neque enim languor vel desidia locum habet,
ubi amoris stimulus
semper ad maiora perurget.
7Tanta autem in eo carnis ad spiritum erat concordia,
tanta obedientiae promptitudo,
quod cum ille ad omnem niteretur sanctitatem pertingere,

Francis of Assisi: Early Documents, vol. 2, p. 640

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