A Book of the Praises of Saint Francis (1277-1283) - 62 

the Order from the underworld, just as testimony was given from heaven in other visions.

117It is said that in Navarre a very beautiful girl, who was remarkable in features and adornment, appeared to a Cistercian brother of great virtue while he was praying very devoutly. He was a native of Spain and was first named Gonsalvo and later Anthony. The girl of the vision invited him to marry her, but he vigorously refused, saying that since he was a monk who professed chastity, he was not allowed to take a wife. "But you have to take me as your wife," she said. "I tell you this in the name of the Order of Lesser Brothers whose beauty and image I bear. If you espouse this Order to yourself by entering it, you will find salvation there." With words such as this she disappeared.

121At another time this Anthony saw blessed Francis, and with him he saw another holy brother, William, whose bones, made known by miracles, rest in the Church of Saint Francis.a At the same time he saw a very beautiful bed. Anthony asked that saintly brother William whose bed it was, and was told that it was the bed of blessed Francis. Anthony said: "I want to lie upon it that I might be able to say that I have lain on such a beautiful bed." Some time after this vision, when the monks wanted to make him their Abbot, he entered the Order of Lesser Brothers because of the bed of Saint Francis. The monks earnestly sought to bring him back through the instrumentality of the Roman Curia. They alleged among other things that the austerity of their Order was greater than that of the Lesser Brothers. Anthony is said to have responded: "These men did not come to the Roman Curia as I did on foot and begging." The request of the monks was refused by the Supreme Pontiff, and Anthony remained as a brother in the Order. It is said that he possessed such devotion that he shed tears even in the hustle and bustle of people who pressed around him.

127He never spoke idle words. Instead, he spoke continually of God so fervently that sometimes he seemed to be intoxicated even though he drank wine only in the Sacrifice of the Mass. In fact, he never drank anything else that could intoxicate a man. He burned with such zeal for souls, that he was untiring in preaching and hearing confessions. He taught the brothers to make sincere confessions, to pray fervently, and to avoid idle words. He added that if they did




Liber de Laudibus Beati Francisci, Fontes Franciscani, p. 1282-1283

Ordini datum ab inferis, sicut per alias visiones de coelis.

117In Vasconia quendam magnae virtutis fratrem primum Gonsalvum, postea dictum Antonium, natione Hispanum, qui cum Cisterciensis Ordinis monachus esset, devote oranti pulcherrima specie ornatuque mirabilis fertur apparuisse puella, quae ipsum, ut secum contraheret, invitavit. 118Quo fortiter respuente, pro eo quod monachus et castitatis esset professor, propter quod eum uxorem ducere non liceret; 119« immo, inquit ipsa, oportet, ut me in sponsam assumas. Ego enim sub nomine Religionis fratrum Minorum, cuius speciem et typum gero, hoc loquor; quantum ad Religionem, intrando tibi desponsans, in ea salvaberis ». 120Et dictis huiusmodi verbis disparuit.

121Alia vice vidit beatum Franciscum et cum eo alium sanctum fratrem Gulielmum, cuius vulgata miraculis [ossa] in ecclesia beati Francisci quiescunt. 122Vidit simul et lectum pulcherrimum, quem sanctus ille Gulielmus, cum esset ab eo interrogatus, beati Francisci esse respondit. 123« Et ego, dicebat Antonius, in eo cubare volo, ut possim, dicere, quod in lecto sic pulcro iacuerim ». 124Post visionem huiusmodi cum monachi vellent eum in Abbatem assumere, Ordinem fratrum Minorum tamquam beati Francisci lectum intravit. 125Quem per Romanam Curiam instanter monachi repetentes, cum inter alia praetendissent, maiorem esse austeritatem Ordinis sui quam fratrum, fertur ipse dixisse: « Non venerunt isti ad Curiam mendicando et pedites sicut ego ». 126Repulsis per summum Pontificem monachis, frater in Ordine remanens tantae devotionis dicitur exstitisse, ut lacrymas ad votum quod dictu mirabile est inter ipsos instantium sibi hominum tumultus haberet.

127Otiosa nunquam, sed de Deo iugiter et sic loquebatur ferventer, ut ebrius aliquando videretur, cum tamen vinum non nisi in sacrificio Domini, vel aliud inclinans [ad ebrietatem] biberet. 128Tanto etiam animarum zelo fervebat, ut indefessus praedicationi et confessionibus audiendis insisteret. 129Docebat fratres pure confiteri, ferventer orare, verba otiosa vitare, quod si sic facerent,

Francis of Assisi: Early Documents, vol. 3, p. 62

Hardcopies Available for Purchase