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 A Mirror of the Perfection (The Sabatier Edition, 1928) - 357 

108
HOW SHORTLY BEFORE HIS DEATH, HE NOTIFIED BLESSED CLARE THAT SHE WOULD SEE HIM AND HOW THIS WAS FULFILLED AFTER HIS DEATH

During that week in which blessed Francis died, Lady Clare, the first plant of the Poor Sisters of San Damiano in Assisi, the outstanding emulator of blessed Francis in observing gospel perfection,a feared she would die before him, for they were both very ill at the time. She wept bitterly and could not be comforted, because she thought she would not be able to see before her death her only father after God, that is, blessed Francis, her comforter and teacher, and her first founder in God's grace.

She sent word of this to blessed Francis through one of the brothers. Hearing this, the saint was moved to piety for her, because he loved her singularly with fatherly affection. Realizing, however, that what she wanted, that is, to see him, could not be done, he wrote his blessing in a letter to console her and her sisters and also absolved her from any failings against his admonitions and against the commands and counsel of the Son of God. Moreover, so that she would put aside all her grief, he was guided by the Holy Spirit to say to the brother she had sent, "Go and tell Lady Clare to put aside all her grief and sorrow over not being able to see me now. Let her be assured that before her death, both she and her sisters will see me and, because of me, they will be greatly consoled."

Soon afterwards blessed Francis passed away during the night. In the morning, all the people of the city of Assisi, with all the clergy, came and took his holy body from the place where he had died. With hymns and praises, carrying tree branches, they carried him in this way to San Damiano at the Lord's will, in order to fulfill that word which the Lord had spoken through blessed Francis to console His daughters and servants.

The iron grille was removed through which the servants of Christ usually receive communion and hear the word of God. The brothers lifted his holy body from the bier and, raising him in their arms, they held him in front of the window for a long time. By then Lady Clare and her sisters had received the greatest consolation from him, although they wept profusely and were afflicted with great grief,

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Speculum Perfectionis, Fontes Franciscani, p.


Francis of Assisi: Early Documents, vol. 3, p. 357

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