The Deeds of Blessed Francis & His Companions (1328-1337) - 541 

God that it seemed to him that his soul was snatched from his body. For his body was inflamed a hundred times more than if he were in a furnace, and because of this ardor his spirit became uneasy and panted and was ardently brought to such a state that he would cry out in a loud voice. Due to an exceeding fire of love and a violent impulse of his spirit, he could not restrain himself from crying out. 6 At the time when he experienced such great ardor of love, the hope of salvation became very strong in him and he did not believe that, if he had died at that moment, he would be passing through Purgatory. Such love as this, although not constant, lasted for half a year. The ardor, however, lasted for more than a year, so that for an hour he seemed to be breathing out his spirit.

8 After this time he had visitations and innumerable consolations, just as I myself have seen many times with the eyes of faith and many others have frequently evaluated with care. For due to the excess of love and ardor he could not conceal these visitations: in fact, he was enraptured many times in my presence. On one particular night he was raised to such wonderful illumination that he saw all created things, celestial and terrestrial, in their Creator with all things disposed according to their rank: how, for instance, the choirs of blessed spirits are below God, and so too, the earthly paradise and the humanity of Christ. There were also the lower choirs which were similarly arranged, and he saw and felt how all things represent the Creator.

11 Afterward God raised him above every creature so that his soul was absorbed and assumed into the abyss of divinity and illumination, and was buried in the sea of the eternity and infinity of God, to such a degree that he experienced nothing created, nothing formed, nothing finite, nothing imaginable which the human heart could conceive or human tongue could relate. That soul of his was absorbed in that abyss of divinity and in that sea or type of illumination like a drop of wine absorbed in the depths of the sea. And just as the drop of wine finds nothing in itself but sea, so that soul saw nothing but God in everything, above everything, within everything and outside everything, and therefore he saw the three Persons in one God, and one God in three Persons. He discerned that eternal love which, as far as his humanity is concerned, prompted the Son of God to become incarnate in obedience to the Father, and he arrived at ineffable light by way of the incarnation and passion of the Son of God by meditating, by carrying the Cross, and by weeping over the Passion. For there is no other way by which souls can enter into God except through Christ who is the way, the truth, and the life. Jn 14:6




Francis of Assisi: Early Documents, vol. 3, p. 541