A Mirror of the Perfection (The Sabatier Edition, 1928) - 369 

Chapter Twelve
HIS DEATH: THE JOY HE SHOWED WHEN HE KNEW FOR CERTAIN THAT HIS DEATH WAS AT HAND

121
FIRST, HOW HE ANSWERED BROTHER ELIAS WHO REPROVED HIM FOR SHOWING SO MUCH JOY

When blessed Francis lay ill in the palace of the bishop of Assisi and the hand of the Lord seemed to be weighing down on him more than ever before, the people of Assisi, fearing that should the saint die during the night, the brothers would secretly take his holy body away and carry it to another city, placed a vigilant guard each night around the palace's walls.

For the consolation of his spirit, that most holy father often had his companions sing the Praises of the Lord during the day, lest he lose heart because of the severity of his pains which tormented him unceasingly. He likewise had the Praises sung during the night for the edification and solace of those seculars who kept watch outside the palace because of him.

Brother Elias, seeing how blessed Francis was so comforting himself and rejoicing in the Lord in such illness, said to him: "Dearest brother, I am greatly consoled and edified by all the joy which you show for yourself and your companions in such infirmity. Although the people of this city venerate you as a saint, nevertheless, because they firmly believe that you are near death due to your incurable sickness, upon hearing praises of this sort being sung day and night, they can say to themselves: 'How can he show such joy when he is so near death? He should be thinking about death.' "

"Do you remember," blessed Francis said to him, "when you saw the vision at Foligno and told me that it told you that I would live for only two years? Before you saw that vision, through the grace of God, who suggests every good in the heart, and places it on the lips of his faithful, I often considered day and night my end. But from the time you saw that vision, each day I have been even more zealous reflecting on the day of my death."

He immediately continued with great intensity of spirit: "Allow me to rejoice in the Lord, Brother, and to sing His praises in my infirmities, 2 Cor 12:9 because, by the grace of the Holy Spirit, I am so closely united

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Speculum Perfectionis, Fontes Franciscani, p.


Francis of Assisi: Early Documents, vol. 3, p. 369

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