The Life of Blessed Francis - 646 

thus embedded in the flesh. From whatever point they were pressed, simultaneously, as if by a continuous and tough tendon, they pulsed at the opposite end. Also the wound in his side could be clearly seen, which was not inflicted on his body nor produced by human means; it was like the wound in the Savior's side, which brought forth in our Redeemer the mystery of the redemption and regeneration of the human race. The nails were as black as iron; the wound in his side was red, and because it was drawn into a kind of circle by the contraction of the flesh looked like a most beautiful rose. The rest of his skin, which before was inclined to be black both naturally and from his illness, now shone white in its beauty, prefiguring the beauty of that glorious second stole.a

3His limbs were so supple and soft to the touch that they seemed to have regained the tenderness of childhood and to be adorned with clear signs of innocence. The nails appeared black in his shining skin, and the wound in his side was red like a rose in springtime so that it is no wonder the onlookers were amazed and overjoyed at the sight of such varied and miraculous beauty.

His sons were weeping at the loss of so lovable a father but were filled with no little joy while they kissed the seal marks of the supreme King in him. The newness of the miracle turned their grief into joy and transported into amazement their attempts at comprehending it. So unique and so remarkable was the sight to all who observed it that it confirmed their faith and incited their love. It was a matter of amazement to those who heard of it and aroused their desire to see it.

4When the people heard of the passing of our blessed father and news of the miracle had spread, they hurried to the place to see with their own eyes so that they could dispel all doubt and add joy to their love. A great number of the citizens of Assisi were admitted to contemplate those sacred marks with their own eyes and to kiss them with their lips. One of them, a knight who was educated and prudent, Jerome by name, a distinguished and famous man, had doubts about these sacred signs and was unbelieving like Thomas. Fervently and boldly, in the presence of the brothers and the citizens, he did not hesitate to move the nails and to touch with his hands 1 Jn 1:1 the saint's hands, feet, and side. While he was examining with his hands these authentic signs of Christ's wounds, he completely healed the wound

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Legenda Maior, Fontes Franciscani, p. 906-907


quod dum a parte qualibet premerentur, protinus quasi nervi continui et duri ad partem oppositam resultabant. 2Inventa quoque fuit patentius in ipsius corpore non inflicta humanitus neque facta plaga vulneris lateralis, instar vulnerati lateris Salvatoris, quod redemptionis et regenerationis humanae in ipso Redemptore nostro protulit sacramentum. 3Erat autem similitudo clavorum nigra quasi ferrum, vulnus autem lateris rubeum et ad orbicularitatem quamdam carnis contractione reductum rosa quaedam pulcherrima videbatur. 4Caro vero ipsius reliqua, quae prius tam ex infirmitate quam ex natura ad nigredinem declinabat, candore nimio renitescens, illius secundae stolae pulchritudinem praetendebat.

3 1Membra ipsius adeo mollia et tractabilia se praebebant palpantibus, ut conversa viderentur in teneritudinem puerilis aetatis et quibusdam cernerentur evidentibus signis innocentiae decorata. 2Cum igitur in candidissima carne clavi nigrescerent, plaga vero lateris ut vernans roseus flos ruberet, mirandum non est, si tam formosa et miraculosa varietas iucunditatem et admirationem contuentibus ingerebat.

3Lacrimabantur filii pro subtractione tam amabilis Patris, sed et non modica perfundebantur laetitia, dum deosculabantur in eo signacula summi Regis. 4Miraculi novitas planctum vertebat in iubilum et intellectus rapiebat indaginem in stuporem. 5Erat quippe tam insolitum tamque insigne spectaculum contuentibus omnibus et firmamentum fidei et incitamentum amoris, audientibus vero admirationis materia et excitatio desiderii ad videndum.

4 1Audito siquidem transitu Patris beati, et fama diffusa miraculi, accelerans populus confluebat ad locum, ut id cerneret oculis carnis, quod a ratione dubium omne repelleret at affectioni gaudium cumularet. 2Admissi sunt itaque Assisinates cives quam plurimi ad stigmata illa sacra contemplanda oculis et labiis osculanda. 3Unus autem ex eis, miles quidam litteratus et prudens, Hieronymus nomine, vir utique famosus et celeber, cum de huiusmodi sacris signis dubitasset essetque incredulus quasi Thomas, ferventius et audacius coram fratribus et aliis civibus movebat clavos 4Sanctique manus, pedes et latus manibus proprus contrectabat, ut, dum vulnerum Christi veracia illa signa palpando contingeret, de sui et omnium cordibus omne « dubietatis vulnus amputaret ».

Francis of Assisi: Early Documents, vol. 2, p. 646

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