The Deeds of Blessed Francis & His Companions (1328-1337) - 548 

Christ. Rejoicing and consoled in this way he passed to the Lord, and rests in the place at Penne San Giovanni.

To the praise of Our Lord Jesus Christ.
Amen.

LIX
THE BLESSED VIRGIN APPEARS TO A SICK BROTHER IN THE PLACE AT SOFFIANOa

1 In the March of Ancona, in a deserted place called Soffiano, there was of old a lesser brother, whose name I do not remember, a man of such holiness and grace that he seemed to be completely divine, and he was often rapt into God. Here, once when he was absorbed and lifted into God, as he had a remarkable gift of contemplation, birds of different kinds came and, in a very friendly way, settled on his head and shoulders, on his hands and arms, and there they sang wonderful songs.

Here, when he returned from his contemplation, he came with such joy of spirit that he seemed a man, or even an angel of another age, because then his face shone so wonderfully from the divine companionship of conversation that he provoked wonder and astonishment in those who saw him. Here, always staying alone, he would very rarely speak, and when someone asked him a question, he responded as if he were an angel of the Lord; and his words were always flavored with divine salt. Here, neither by night nor by day, did he cease praying and contemplating the things of God, nor did he rest his unconquered spirit from meditating on the eternal light, that is, Christ. Therefore, the brothers revered him with tender affection as another Moses. And in this laudable dedication he finished the course of his virtuous and heavenly life and, ardently persevering in God, he came to this end.

6 And while he was so sick unto death that he could not eat anything and asked for no bodily medicine, but trusted in the blessed Jesus Christ alone, that is, the life-giving bread that came down from heaven and restores all things merely by a word, he merited by divine mercy to be wonderfully consoled by the most Blessed Virgin Mary.

7 One day, as he was lying there alone, preparing himself for death with all his strength, the glorious Lady, the most blessed Mother of

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Francis of Assisi: Early Documents, vol. 3, p. 548

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