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 The Life of Blessed Francis - 642 

under the many blows of agonizing illness,
he was squared like a stone to be fitted
into the construction of the heavenly Jerusalem,
and like a work of malleable metal
he was brought to perfection
under the hammering blows of many tribulations.

He asked to be taken to Saint Mary of the Portiuncula
so that he might yield up the spirit of life
where he had received the spirit of grace. Heb 10:29

When he had been brought there, he showed by the example of Truth that he had nothing in common with the world. In that grave illness that ended all suffering, he threw himself in fervor of spirit totally naked on the naked ground so that in that final hour, when the enemy could still rage, he might wrestle naked with the naked.a Lying like this on the ground Jb 20:4stripped of his sackcloth garment, he lifted up his face to heaven in his accustomed way, and wholly intent upon that glory, he covered with his left hand the wound in his right side, so that no one would see it. And he said to his brothers: "I have done what is mine; may Christ teach you yours."

4Pierced with the spear of compassion, the companions of the saint wept streams of tears. One of them, whom the man of God used to call his guardian, knowing his wish through divine inspiration, quickly got up. He took the tunic with a cord and underwear, and offered them to the little poor man of Christ, saying: "I am lending these to you as to a poor man, and you are to accept them with the command of holy obedience." At this the holy man rejoiced and was delighted in the gladness of his heart, because he saw that he had kept faith until the end with Lady Poverty. Raising his hands to heaven, he magnified his Christ, that now set free from all things, he was going to him free. For he had done all of this out of zeal for poverty, not wanting to have even a habit unless it were borrowed from another.

In all things
he wished without hesitation
to be conformed to Christ crucified,
who hung on the cross poor, suffering, and naked.

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Legenda Maior, Fontes Franciscani, p. 900-902


multis fuisset angustiantium infirmitatum
probativis tunsionibus conquadratus,
tamquam lapis in supernae Ierusalem aedificio collocandus
et tamquam ductile opus
sub multiplicis tribulationis malleo
ad perfectionem adductus,

ad Sanctam Mariam de Portiuncula se portari poposcit,
quatenus, ubi acceperat spiritum gratiae,
ibi redderet spiritum vitae.

2Quo cum fuisset perductus, ut Veritatis exemplo monstraret, quod nihil erat illi commune cum mundo, in illa infirmitate tam gravi, quae omni languori conclusit, super nudam humum se totum nudatum in spiritus fervore prostravit, quatenus hora illa extrema, in qua poterat adhuc hostis irasci, nudus luctaretur cum nudo. 3Decubans sic in terra, saccina veste deposita, faciem solito more levavit in caelum et intendens illi gloriae totus, manu sinistra dextri lateris vulnus, ne videretur, obtexit. 4Et ait ad fratres: « Ego quod meum est feci; quod vestrum est Christus edoceat ».

4 1Illacrimantibus autem sociis Sancti, qui miro fuerant compassionis telo percussi, unus ex eis, quem vir,Dei guardianum suum esse dicebat, votum ipsius divina inspiratione cognoscens, festinus surrexit et acceptam cum chorda et femoralibus tunicam pauperculo Christi obtulit, 2dicens: « Haec tibi tamquam pauperi commodo, et tu illa suscipias obedientiae sanctae mandato ». 3Gaudet ex hoc vir sanctus et iubilat prae laetitia cordis, quoniam fidem tenuisse dominae paupertati usque in finem se vidit, palmasque levans ad caelum, Christum suum magnificat, pro eo quod, exoneratus ab omnibus, liber vadit ad ipsum. 4Fecerat enim haec omnia paupertatis zelo, ut nec habitum quidem vellet habere nisi ab alio commodatum.

5Voluit certe
per omnia
Christo crucifixo esse conformis,
qui pauper et dolens et nudus in cruce pependit.

Francis of Assisi: Early Documents, vol. 2, p. 642

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