The Treatise on the Miracles of Saint Francis - 399 

The Treatise on the Miracles of Saint Francis

Chapter I
THE BEGINNING OF HIS RELIGION WAS MIRACULOUS

1We have undertaken to write down
the miracles of our most holy father Francis;
and we have decided to note in first place in this account,
before all the others,
that sacred miracle by which the world was warned,
by which it was roused, and by which it was frightened.
That miracle was the beginning of the religion:
the sterile made fruitful,
giving birth to a varied people.
People observed
that the old world was growing filthy with a mange of vices,
that Orders were slipping away from the footprints of the apostles,
that the night of sinners had reached mid-course in its journey,
and silence had been imposed on sacred studies.

Just then, suddenly, there leapt upon the earth
a new man;

a new army quickly appeared;
and the peoples marveled at the signs of an apostolic newness.a
Quickly there came to light
the long-buried perfection of the primitive Church:
the world read of its marvels,
but did not see any examples of it.
Why, therefore, should the last not be called the first,
since now the hearts of fathers are wondrously turned to their children
and the hearts of children to their fathers?

Sould the mission of the two Orders,b
so well-known and famous,

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Francis of Assisi: Early Documents, vol. 2, p. 399

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