The Miracles Shown after His Death - 651 

From the very first moment
in which he began to do battle for the Crucified,
the mysteries of the cross began to shine forth in him
in manifold and diverse ways,
as will be clear to anyone who considers the events of his life.
For by the sevenfold apparitions of the Lord's cross
which he experienced,
he became an image of the Crucified in his thoughts,
in his feelings and in his actions,
being transformed by his ecstatic love of Christ.
The mercy of the Supreme King toward those who love Him,
something beyond anything humans can imagine,
stamped the banner of His cross upon his body,
that one who so wonderfully excelled in love of the cross
should also wonderfully become a wonder in honor of the cross.

2The unassailable certainty of this stunning miracle is supported
not only by the witness
—which is in every way worthy of our trust
of those who saw these wounds, and touched them,
but also by the wondrous apparitions and miracles
which have shone forth after his death
to drive away every cloud from our minds.

Indeed, before he had inscribed this standard-bearer of the cross in the catalog of the saints, the Lord Pope Gregory the Ninth, of happy memory (about whom this holy man had prophetically foretold that he would be raised up to the apostolic dignity) carried a certain scruple of doubt in his heart about whether he had really received a wound in his side. But one night—as that blessed pontiff himself used to tell with tears in his eyes—blessed Francis appeared to him in a dream with a certain show of sternness in his face. Reproving him for his inner uncertainty, blessed Francis raised up his right arm, uncovered the wound on his side, and asked him for a vial in which to gather the spurting blood that flowed from it. In the dream the Supreme Pontiff brought him the vial requested, and it seemed to be filled to the brim with the blood which flowed abundantly out of the side. From that day he began to feel such devotion towards this sacred miracle, and to burn with such a zeal for it, that he would not allow anyone to obscure these signs with arrogant presumption without striking him with a severe rebuke.a

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Legenda Maior, Fontes Franciscani, p. 913-914


7Sed et a principio temporis,
quo Crucifixo militare coeperat,
diversa circa
eum crucis praefulsere mysteria,
sicut vitae ipsius consideranti decursum clarius innotescit:
8qualiter apparitione crucis dominicae septiformi
tam cogitatu
quam affectu et actu
totus fuit in Crucifixi effigiem
per ipsius ecstaticum transformatus amorem.
9Digne igitur summi Regis clementia suis amatoribus
ultra omnem aestimationem hominum condescendens,
suae crucis vexillum ipsius corpori deferendum impressit,
ut qui mirando fuerat crucis amore praeventus,
mirando etiam fieret crucis honore mirificus.

2 1Ad huius stupendi miraculi irrefragabilem firmitatem
non solum videntium
et palpantium testimonia
per omnem modum credibilia,
verum etiam apparitiones mirabiles et virtutes
post ipsius obitum coruscantes
ad omne mentis effugandum nubilum suffragantur.

2Felicis namque recordationis dominus Gregorius Papa Nonus, de quo vir sanctus prophetando praedixerat, quod ad dignitatem foret apostolicam sublimandus, antequam crucis signiferum catalogo Sanctorum ascriberet, scrupulum quemdam dubitationis in corde gerebat de vulnere laterali. 3Nocte vero quadam sicut ipse felix antistes referebat cum lacrimis, beatus ei Franciscus, quadam faciei praetensa duritia, in somnis apparuit 4et haesitationem cordis ipsius redarguens, elevavit brachium dextrum, detexit vulnus phialamque poposcit ab ipso, ut scaturientem reciperet sanguinem, qui ex latere defluebat. 5Obtulit in visione Summus Pontifex phialam postulatam, quae usque ad summum sanguine profluente de latere videbatur impleri. 6Ex tunc ad illud sacrum miraculum tanta coepit devotione affici et aemulatione fervere, ut nullo modo pati posset, quod aliquis praefulgentia illa signa superba, praesumeret impugnatione fuscare, quin eum severa increpatione feriret.

Francis of Assisi: Early Documents, vol. 2, p. 651

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