A Book of the Praises of Saint Francis (1277-1283) - 66 

Chapter VIII

1When the time of Francis's warfare in this life finally came to an end, the holy father departed happily to Christ in the year of the Incarnation of the Lord, one thousand, two hundred and twenty-six. He was forty-five years old. It was about twenty years since he turned away from the way of the world. For two years he wore the habit of a hermit, but in the third year of his conversion he began the new Order of Lesser Brothers in the basilica of the holy Mother of God and ever virgin, Mary, which from ancient times was called Saint Mary of the Angels. Inspired by heaven, Francis assumed a habit under the protection of her whom he cherished with a particular devotion. It was in this Order that he completed the rest of his life in all holiness, and in the same place where he started the Order he perfected that most auspicious beginning by a most blessed death. He not only knew beforehand the time of his release from this life, but he also predicted nearly the very day that it would happen.

5In the very hour of his passing away, he appeared to—among others who saw him ascending into heaven—a holy brother who was absorbed in prayer. He was dressed in a purple dalmatic,a accompanied by an innumerable crowd of followers like the greatest of princes in the wonderful beauty of glory. Arriving at a very beautiful place, a palace of amazing size and of a singular abundance of special delights, he entered there with a glorious company of brothers.

7A most illustrious Roman matron, Lady Jacoba dei Settesoli,b very devoted to the man of God, came to visit him with a very large retinue as befitted such a great lady. She administered whatever seemed necessary for his funeral. He, who had taught her in Christ and had named her Brother Jacoba because of the vigor of her virtues, wished to see her before he died. He therefore had her summoned. But before the messenger left, there was a great clamor




Liber de Laudibus Beati Francisci, Fontes Franciscani, p. 1285-1286

Caput VIII
De transitu et translatione beati Francisci.

8 1Excurso denique praesentis militiae tempore, feliciter Pater sanctus migravit ad Christum anno incarnationis Domini MCCXXVI, aetatis autem suae XLV°. Nam quasi XXV annorum erat, quando a saeculi statu perfecte conversus est. 2Duobus deinde annis habitum eremiticum gessit. 3Tertio conversionis suae anno in sanctae Dei Genitricis semperque Virginis Mariae basilica, quae ab antiquo sancta Maria de Angelis vocabatur, novum fratrum Minorum Ordinem inchoavit habitumque coelitus inspiratum, ipsa, quam praecipua devotione colebat patrocinante, suscepit, sub quo reliquum vitae suae in omni sanctitate perficiens anno a sua conversione XX. felix initium eodem quo inceperat loco fine beatissimo consummavit. 4Resolutionis autem suae non solum tempus praescivit, sed etiam ipsum circiter, cum recessurus esset, diem praedixit.

5In ipsa transitus sui hora inter alios, quibus visus est ascendens in coelum, fratri cuidam, viro sancto in oratione suspenso, purpuream indutus dalmaticam cum innumera sequentium turba tamquam princeps maximus in admirabili gloriae decore apparuit; 6qui tandem ad amoenissima loca perveniens, palatium mirae magnitudinis et singularis deliciarum plenitudinis intravit multorum ibi fratrum praeditus gloriosa comitiva.

7Venit autem matrona illustrissima ex Romanis domina Iacoba de Septemsoliis, devotissima viri Dei, ad visitandum eum cum magno, ut tantam decebat dominam, comitatu, quae apparatum multum, prout tanto videbatur funeri, ministravit. 8Eam ipse, quam in Christo docuerat quamque pro virilitate virtutum fratrem Iacobam nominabat, ante transitum suum videre volens, mandaverat iam vocari. 9Sed cum iturus nuntius praesto esset, ecce ad fratrum ostium multus equorum et famulorum strepitus devotae discipulae

Francis of Assisi: Early Documents, vol. 3, p. 66