The Deeds of Blessed Francis & His Companions (1328-1337) - 532 

one is able to do without your help; therefore, help me, most loving Jesus Christ, to love you with all my strength."

33 While Brother John was earnestly praying, lying at the feet of Jesus most sweet, he received so much grace that he was totally renewed, and like Magdalene, consoled and at peace.a Then Brother John, feeling that gift of grace, began to thank the Lord and humbly kiss His feet, and standing up, to look at his Savior as he was thanking Him. The blessed Christ opened his arms and offered Brother John his most holy hands to be kissed. As Christ opened his hands Brother John arose and went to the breast of the Lord Jesus. He embraced Jesus and blessed Jesus embraced him.

36 While Brother John was kissing the most holy breast of Christ, he sensed such a divine fragrance that, if all the fragrances of the world were gathered into one, it would be considered a putrid stench compared to this divine fragrance. And over and above this, those rays were issuing from the Savior's breast, illuminating his mind inwardly and, outwardly, everything around them. And in this embrace, fragrance, and illumination, Brother John was enraptured in the blessed breast of Jesus Christ, totally consoled and wonderfully illuminated. From that time on, since he had drunk at the sacred fountain of the Lord's breast, he was filled with the gift of wisdom and the grace of God's word, and he often poured forth marvelous words beyond description. And because there flowed from His side streams of living waters which he had drunk from the depths of the breast of our Lord Jesus Christ, he changed the minds of his listeners and produced wonderful fruit.

41 Moreover, that fragrance and brilliance which he had experienced there, remained in his soul for many months. And, what is more, on the path in the woods where the Lord's feet had passed and in a wide area all around he experienced that same brilliance and fragrance for a long time. When Brother John returned to himself after this rapture, the blessed Christ disappeared and he afterwards remained always consoled and enlightened.

43 And at that time he did not find the humanity of Christ, as I heard from the one who heard it from the mouth of Brother John himself. Rather he found his soul buried in the abyss of the divinity, and this is approved by many well-known witnesses. He used to utter such exalted and profoundly illuminating words before the Roman Curia, before kings, barons, Masters and Doctors that all were wonderfully astonished. Although Brother John was a man with little education, nevertheless he gave extraordinary explanations about the




Francis of Assisi: Early Documents, vol. 3, p. 532