A Book of the Praises of Saint Francis (1277-1283) - 67 

outside the door, caused by the horses and attendants of this devoted disciple. She had arrived to visit her most illustrious father and teacher. When the saint saw her, he rejoiced that, as he had hoped, she had been sent by God. After recovering a little in the joy of seeing her, it was thought that the saint would live longer. Lady Jacoba, therefore, decided to send back a part of her retinue, so that she might await the saint's end with fewer attendants. But the saint forbade this. "I will depart on Saturday evening," he said. "You can leave with your retinue on the following day."

13On the day and at the hour which he predicted, the saint was gathered to the Lord to live with Him in His eternal mansion. The brothers, bereft of their holy Father, wept. So too did those virgins of Christ, who had followed in his footsteps. With tearful voices they said: "O Father, why are you abandoning us poor women? To whom are you leaving your desolate daughters?"a

15His most holy body was buried at Assisi in the Church of Saint George, where the Monastery of Saint Clare now stands.b After a few years a church was built in the saint's honor near the walls of the city and by the authority of Pope Gregory IX who laid the first stone of the foundation.c The site of the church is called the Hill of Paradise. Here his body was brought with great pomp and veneration. So great a multitude of people had come together for the celebration that the city was not able to contain them, and they camped all around the field like sheep. The aforementioned Lord Pope Gregory, whose personal presence for the celebration of his translation was anticipated as certain, at that time was prevented owing to certain other urgent business of the Church. He sent nuncios for the purpose with a personal letter which not only explained as necessary the cause of his unexpected absence, but also announced for sure to his sons, whom he comforted with a fatherly affection, that a certain dead man had been brought back to life by blessed Francis.d

19Also, through the same nuncios, he sent a gold cross, priceless owing to its work in gems, but containing wood from the cross of Our Lord more precious than all the gold and gems. Besides this, he sent ornaments and several vessels which pertained to the ministry of the altar, and also vestments which were most fitting for solemn uses. He also sent other considerable donations for the

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Liber de Laudibus Beati Francisci, Fontes Franciscani, p. 1286-1287


ecce ad fratrum ostium multus equorum et famulorum strepitus devotae discipulae ad doctorem et patrem praeclarissimum sibi venientis. 10Ipsam ergo sanctus missam a Domino, ut optabat, vidit et gavisus est. 11Cumque aliquantulum respirans prae gaudio visionis ipsius plus vivere putaretur, voluit ipsa partem suae comitivae remittere, ut Sancti finem cum paucioribus exspectaret. 12Quod prohibens dixit: « Ego sabbato in sero recedam; tu die sequenti poteris cum societate reverti ».

13Die igitur et hora qua dixerat, collectus est Sanctus ad Dominum, aeterna secum mansione moraturus. 14Flebant fratres pii Patris solatio destituti, flebant et virgines Christi, quae ipsius fuerant secutae vestigia, flebili voce dicentes: « Cur nos, Pater, miseras deseris, aut cui relinquis filias desolatas? ».

15Sepultum est corpus eius sanctissimum apud Assisium in ecclesia beati Georgii, ubi nunc est monasterium sanctae Clarae. 16Indeque post paucos annos ad ecclesiam, quae sibi prope muros civitatis auctoritate domini Gregorii Papae noni, qui et primarium lapidem fundamenti posuerat, construebatur, quae collis paradisi vocatur, cum ingenti apparatu et veneratione translatum, tanta propter hoc ex vicinis urbibus populorum multitudine congregata, ut, civitate illos capere non valente, per campos gregum more turmatim accumberet. 17Praefatus etiam dominus Papa Gregorius, cuius certa sperabatur ad hanc translationis solemnitatem praesentia corporalis, sed tunc temporis aliis quibusdam urgentibus Ecclesiae impediebatur negotiis, solemnes illuc cum suis litteris nuntios destinavit, 18quibus suae non solum insperatae causam absentiae necessariam declaravit, sed et filiis, quos paterno consolabatur affectu, de quodam mortuo per beatum Franciscum resuscitato certius intimavit;

19ad hoc per eosdem nuntios crucem auream, opere quidem gemmario pretiosam, sed omni auro et gemmis pretiosius lignum crucis dominicae complectentem; insuper ornamenta et vasa quaecumque ad altaris ministerium pertinentia nec non etiam decentissima solemnibus usibus indumenta transmisit. 20Sed et alia non modica tam ad eiusdem fabricae quam ad solemnitatis impensas donaria deputavit.

Francis of Assisi: Early Documents, vol. 3, p. 67

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