Jacopone of Todi (1278-1293) - 875 

The nails were made of flesh, hardened like iron,
the flesh was as fair as a child's.
It had lost the traces of many winters;
love had made it radiant, beautiful to gaze on.

The wound in your side was like a scarlet rose.
All that saw wept at the marvel:
its likeness to that of Christ
made the heart sink into an abyss of love.

O happy weeping, full of wonder—
joyful weeping, full of compassion!
How many tears of love were shed there,
to see and touch the new Christ's wounds!

They flowed freely as folk gazed upon this vision
of fiery love. The precious balm of holiness
that lies hidden in the heart
oozed forth from the wounds of Francis.

That towering palm tree you climbed,a Francis—
it was with the sacrifice of Christ Crucified that it bore fruit.
You were so transfixed to Him in love you never faltered,
and the marks on your body attested to that union.

This is the mission of love: to make two one;
Through his prayers it transforms Francis into Christ,
impressing Christ's form which he had in his heart,
that love manifest in his robe streaked with color.b

The highest divine love brought you to embrace Christ,
his totally burning affection enfolded you,
to press its stamp on your heart, like a seal in wax.
The impression was His in Whom you are transformed.

I have no words for this dark mystery;
how can I understand or explain
the superabundance of riches,
the disproportionate love of a heart on fire?

Who can measure the force of that fire?
We only know that the body could not contain it




Francis of Assisi: Early Documents, vol. 3, p. 875