A Mirror of the Perfection (The Sabatier Edition, 1928) - 336 

love them; may they always love and observe our Lady Poverty; and may they always remain faithful and subject to the prelates and all the clerics of holy Mother Church."

At the close of chapters, it was always customary for our father to bless and absolve all the brothers present and the others who were to come to this religion. In the fervor of his charity, he frequently did this outside of chapter.

He used to warn the brothers to fear and beware of bad example, and he cursed all those who by bad example caused people to blaspheme the religion and life of the brothers since the good and holy brothers were ashamed of this and many were distressed.

88
THE LOVE HE SHOWED THE BROTHERS WHILE NEAR DEATH, GIVING EACH OF THEM A MORSEL OF BREAD AS CHRIST DID

One night blessed Francis was so afflicted with the pains of his illness that he could barely rest or sleep that night. In the morning, when his pain eased a bit, he had all the brothers staying in that place called to him, and when they were seated around him, he considered them and regarded them as representatives of all the brothers.

Placing his right hand on the head of each one, he blessed all who were present and absent in the religion and all who were to come to the Order until the end of the world.a He seemed to feel sorry for himself because he was not able to see all his sons and brothers before his death.

Desiring to imitate his Lord and Master in death as he had so perfectly done in his life, he ordered loaves of bread Mt 26:26 to be brought to him. And he blessed them and had them broken into many little pieces because he was unable to do so because he was extremely weak. Taking them, he offered each of the brothers a little piece, telling them to eat all of it. Just as the Lord desired to eat with the apostles as a sign of His love on the Thursday before His death, in the same way His perfect imitator, blessed Francis, wanted to show the same sign of love to his brothers.

And it is clear he wished to do this in imitation of Christ, because he later asked if the day were a Thursday.

And since it was another day, he said he thought it was Thursday.

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Speculum Perfectionis, Fontes Franciscani, p.


Francis of Assisi: Early Documents, vol. 3, p. 336

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