The Remembrance of the Desire of a Soul - 263 

The Second Book

INTRODUCTION TO THE SECOND BOOKa

26 To preserve the great deeds of ancestors for the remembrance of their children, gives honor to the former, and shows love in the latter. The ancestors, separated by the passage of time, offer their children a memorable witness. Those who did not know them in their bodily presence are at least spurred to do good by their deeds and encouraged to do better. The first benefit we receive—and a great one—is knowledge of our own smallness. We see their merits abound while ours can hardly be found.

I consider blessed Francis the holiest mirror of the holiness of the Lord,b the image of his Wis 7:26 perfection. I think everything about him, both his words and deeds, is fragrant with God's presence. Anyone who studies them humbly and diligently, will quickly be filled with the teaching of salvation, ready for the saint's highest philosophy.

I will recount a few things about him in a brief and simple style. I think it may be appropriate to mention a few of the many things that will honor the saint and rouse our dozing hearts.

Chapter I
THE SPIRIT OF PROPHECY
WHICH BLESSED FRANCIS POSSESSED

27 Elevated above what is of the world, our blessed father,
with a wonderful power,
had everything on earth subject to him.
His mind's eye was always fixed
on the highest Light.
He not only knew by divine revelation what was going to happen
and foretold many things
in the spirit of prophecy;
he even probed the secrets of the heart, 1 Cor 14:25
knew events from afar,

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Vita Secunda Sancti Francisci, Fontes Franciscani, p. 467-468


SECUNDUM OPUS.

Introitus ad secundum.

26 1Insignia patrum praecedentium reservari ad memoriam filiorum, illorum honoris, horum vero amoris indicium est. 2Sane qui eorum praesentiam corporalem non attigerunt, ipsorum saltem gestis provocantur in bonum, promoventur in melius, dum patres temporum successione disiunctos memoranda testimonia filiis repraesentant . 3Ac primum nec modicum fructum inde consequimur, cognitionem propriae parvitatis, videntes quanta illis copia, quanta nobis inopia meritorum.

4Existimo autem beatum Franciscum speculum quoddam sanctissimum dominicae sanctitatis et imaginem perfectionis illius a. 5Eius, inquam, omnia tam verba quam facta divinum quoddam divinitus redolent, quae si diligentem habeant inspectorem humilemque discipulum, cito salutaribus disciplinis imbutum summae illi philosophiae reddunt acceptum.

6Postquam igitur, vel tenui stilo, transitu quodam aliqua de ipso praemissa sunt, non superfluum puto de multis pauca subnectere, quibus et commendetur sanctus et noster somnolentus excitetur affectus.

De spiritu prophetiae
quem beatus Franciscus habuit.
Caput I.

27 1Beatus pater super mundana quadam elevatione subvectus,
quidquid in orbe fuit,
mira virtute subegerat,
cum summae illi luci
semper obiectans oculum intellectus,
non solum agenda divina revelatione sciebat,
sed praedicebat multa
spiritu prophetiae,
occulta cordium rimabatur,
noscebat absentia,

Francis of Assisi: Early Documents, vol. 2, p. 263

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