A Mirror of the Perfection (The Lemmons Edition, 1901) - 221 


From the time of his conversion till the day of his death, blessed Francis, whether healthy or sick, was always concerned to know and follow the will of the Lord. One day a brother said to blessed Francis: "Father, your life and manner of living were and are a light and a mirrora not only for your brothers but also for the entire Church of God, and your death will be the same. Although for the brothers and many others your death will mean great grief and sorrow, for you it will rather be a great consolation and infinite joy. You will pass from great toil to the greatest rest, from many sorrows and temptations to infinite happiness, from your great poverty, which you always loved and carried from the beginning of your conversion till the day of your death, to the greatest, true and infinite riches, from death in time to life in eternity. There you will forever behold face to face the Lord your God 1 Cor 13:12 whom you have contemplated in this world with so much desire and love."

After saying these things he said to him openly: "Father, you should know the truth: if the Lord does not send his own remedy from heaven to your body, your sickness is incurable and, as the doctors already said, you do not have long to live. I told you this to comfort your spirit, that you may always rejoice, inside and out; especially so that your brothers and others who come to visit you, may find you rejoicing in the Lord, since they know and believe that you will die soon. Thus, as they see this and, after your death, others hear about it, your death, like your life and manner of living, may be held in remembrance by all."

Although racked with sickness, blessed Francis, praised God with great fervor of spirit and joy of body and soul, and told him: "If I am to die soon, call Brother Angelo and Brother Leo that they may sing to me about Sister Death."b

Those brothers came to him, and with many tears, sang the Canticle of Brother Sun and the other creatures of the Lord, which he had composed in his illness for the praise of the Lord and the consolation of his own soul and that of others. Before the last stanza he added one about Sister Death:

"Praised be You, My Lord, through our Sister Bodily Death from whom no one living can escape.

Woe to those who die in mortal sin.




Speculum Perfectionis (minus), Fontes Franciscani, p. 1759-1761


1Beatus Franciscus a tempore sue conversionis usque ad diem mortis semper sollicitus fuit tempore sanitatis et infirmitatis cognoscere et sequi voluntatem Domini. 2Quadam die quidam frater dixit beato Francisco: « Pater, vita et conversatio tua extitit et est lumen et speculum non solum fratribus tuis, sed etiam universali Ecelesie Dei, et illud idem erit mors tua; 3quoniam, licet fratribus tuis et quam plurimis aliis tua mors sit dolor et tristitia magna, tibi tamen [erit] consolatio maxima et gaudium infinitum, 4quia transibis de multo labore ad maximam requiem, de multis laboribus et tentationibus ad gaudium infinitum, de magna paupertate tua, quam semper dilexisti et portasti voluntarie ab initio conversionis tue ad Christum usque ad diem mortis tue, ad maximas et veras et infinitas divitias, de morte temporali ad vitam sempiternam, 5ubi videbis semper Dominum Deum tuum facie ad faciem quam tanto fervore, desiderio et amore in hoc seculo contemplatus es ».

6Et hiis dictis dixit ei manifeste: « Pater, scias quod si Deus in veritate de celo suam non mieteret medicinam corpori tuo, tua infirmitas est incurabilis, et parum vivere debes, sicut medici iam dixerunt. 7Hoc autem dixi ad confortandum spiritum tuum, ut gauderes semper interius et exterius, maxime ut fratres tui et alii, qui veniunt ad te visitandum, inveniant gaudentem in Domino, 8quoniam sciunt et credunt te cito mori, ut ipsis hoc videntibus et aliis qui audierint, post mortem tuam, sit in memoriale tua mors, quomodo omnibus extitit tua vita et conversatio tua ».

9Beatus Franciscus, licet in infirmitatibus esset plurimum pregravatus, cum magno fervore spiritus et letitia utriusque hominis laudavit Dominum dixitque illi: 10« Ergo, si cito debeo mori, vocate mihi fratrem Angelum et fratrem Leonem, ut cantent michi de sorore morte ».

11Iverunt fratres illi coram ipso et cum multis lacrimis cantaverunt cantum fratris solis et aliarum creaturarum Domini quem fecit ipse in infirmitate sua ad laudem Domini et consolationem anime sue et aliorum; 12in quo cantu ante versum ultimum posuit versum de sorore morte, videlicet:

« Laudato sia Misegnore, per nostra sorore morte corporale dala quale nullo homo vivente po scampare.

13Vay a quegli, ke morono nelli peccati mortali.

Francis of Assisi: Early Documents, vol. 3, p. 221