The Deeds of Blessed Francis & His Companions (1328-1337) - 457 

of your dominion? Heaven and earth, fire and water and everything that is in them are yours, O Lord. For who owns anything but you? Therefore, when we offer you anything, we are returning to you what is already yours. What, therefore, shall I be able to offer you, O Lord God, king of heaven and earth and of all creation?' And then God said to me: 'Put your hand into your pocket and offer to me whatever you find there.' When I did this, I found a gold coin, larger, shinier and more beautiful than I had ever seen in this world, and this I offered to God. Again God said: 'Offer me something again as before.' But I said to God: 'Lord, I don't have anything, nor do I love, nor do I want anything but you. For love of you I despise gold and everything else. If anything else is found in my pocket, you put it there, and I return it to you as the possessor of all things.' And this I did three times. After the third offering was made, I knelt down and praised God who gave me what I could offer. Immediately I was given to understand that the threefold offering was figuratively golden obedience, the most exalted poverty and the most beautiful chastity which God through his grace gave me to observe so perfectly that my conscience does not reprove me in any way. And just as when I put my hand into my pocket, I offered and returned those coins to God himself who put them there, so God gave me the power in my soul always to praise and magnify him with heart and mouth for all the things which his most holy goodness has given me. These were the words you heard and the extension of arms which you saw. But beware, Brother Little Lamb, of coming and watching me again. Return to your cell with the blessing of God. Be solicitous of taking care of me. For in a few days on this mountain God will perform an astonishing miracle which the whole world will admire. For he will do something new which he has never done before to any creature in this world."a

68 Then Brother Leo withdrew very consoled. During that very same forty days' fast and on that same mountain around the feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross,b Christ appeared under the form of a winged Seraph as though crucified and impressed both the nails and the stigmata on the hands and feet and side of Saint Francis just as it says in his Legend. The vision appeared at night with such splendor that it illuminated the mountains and

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Francis of Assisi: Early Documents, vol. 3, p. 457

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