A Mirror of the Perfection (The Sabatier Edition, 1928) - 335 

"Father, what shall we do without you? To whom shall you leave us, your orphaned children? Jn 14:18 You have always been a father and a mother to us. You have conceived us and brought us forth in Christ. You have been our leader and shepherd, teacher and corrector, teaching and correcting us more by your example than by your words.

"Where shall we go, sheep without a shepherd, orphaned children without a father, simple and unlettered men without a guide? Where shall we go to look for you, O glory of poverty, praise of simplicity, and honor of our lowliness?

"Who will show us, blind as we are, the way of truth? Where shall we find a mouth to speak to us and a tongue that offers us counsel? Where will your burning spirit be found, directing us on the way of the cross and training us for evangelical perfection? Where will you be, light of our eyes, that we may hurry to you and seek you, counselor of our souls? Lo and behold, Father, you are dying. See how you are leaving us abandoned, grieving and full of despair.

"Alas, a day of weeping and bitterness approaches, a day of desolation and grief, a bitter day that we always dreaded to see while we were together with you, a day that we had not even been able to imagine!

"And no wonder! Since your life has been a constant light for us and your words have been like burning torches, always enlightening us along the way of the cross to evangelical perfection and to the love and imitation of the sweet crucified One.

"Therefore, Father, at least bless us and the rest of your brothers, your sons whom you have begotten in Christ. Leave us some remembrance of your will that your brothers may always keep it in their memory and be able to say: 'Our father left these words to his sons and brothers at his death.' "

The most pious father, turning his paternal eyes to his sons, then told them: "Call Brother Benedict of Piratro for me."a He was a brother priest, discerning and holy. He sometimes celebrated for blessed Francis where he was lying ill, because he always wanted to hear Mass whenever he could, no matter how sick he was. And when he had come, he told him: "Write that I bless all my brothers, those who are and who will be in the religion until the end of the world. And, since I cannot speak much because of weakness and the pain of my illness, I am showing my will and intention to all my brothers present and future. As a sign of my remembrance, blessing, and testament, may they always love one another Jn 15:12 as I have loved and




Speculum Perfectionis, Fontes Franciscani, p.

Francis of Assisi: Early Documents, vol. 3, p. 335