A Mirror of the Perfection (The Sabatier Edition, 1928) - 339 

Chapter Six
CONTINUAL INTENSITY OF LOVE AND COMPASSION FOR THE SUFFERING OF CHRIST

91
FIRST, HOW HE WAS NOT CONCERNED ABOUT HIS OWN INFIRMITIES BECAUSE OF THE LOVE OF THE PASSION OF CHRIST

Such was blessed Francis's fervent love and compassion for the suffering and passion of Christ that each day he afflicted himself because of that passion so severely, both inwardly and outwardly, that he did not pay attention to his own infirmities. Thus, for a long time and even until the day of his death, blessed Francis suffered ailments of the liver, spleen, and stomach. From the time he returned from overseas, he constantly had very severe pain in his eyes. Yet he refused any treatment for their cure.

The Lord of Ostia, seeing how he was always severe with his body, and especially because he was rapidly losing his eyesight because he refused to have himself treated, admonished him with great kindness and compassion. He told him: "Brother, you do not do well in not allowing yourself to be helped with your eye-disease, for your health and your life are of great value to the brothers, the seculars, and the whole Church. If you have compassion for your sick brothers, and have always been and still are pious and merciful to them, you must not be cruel to yourself in such need. I therefore order you to allow yourself be helped and treated."

For that most holy father took what was bitter to his body as sweet, because he continually drew great sweetness from the humility and footprints of the Son of God.

92
HOW HE WAS FOUND LOUDLY LAMENTING THE PASSION OF CHRIST

Once, a short time after his conversion, he was walking alone one day along the road not too far from the church of Saint Mary of the Portiuncula, crying loudly and wailing as he went. A spiritual man met him, and fearing that he was suffering from some painful illness, he asked him: "Brother, what's wrong?" And he answered: "I should go through the whole world this way, without any shame,

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Speculum Perfectionis, Fontes Franciscani, p.


Francis of Assisi: Early Documents, vol. 3, p. 339

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