The Kinship of Saint Francis - 683 

5 Christ chose twelve disciples whom he called Apostles. Of these, eleven were most perfect. One, however, was a traitor who, in the end, hanged himself. In a similar way, Francis chose twelve out of all brothers of his time. Of these, eleven were holy and shone with miracles. One, however, hanged himself with a halter. That the likeness might appear stronger, we will compare each of Christ's Apostles with each of Francis's companions. But first a hidden likeness between the Son of God and Francis must be made clear.

6 The Son of God had two names that immediately were able to show the Apostles that it was useful to follow Him. For he was both the Christ, that is, anointed with the fullness of grace, and He was Jesus, the Savior. Therefore He could give them a fitting reward for their labor, that is, grace because He was Christ, and glory because He was Jesus. In the same way, Francis had two similar names. For at his birth when his father was away in France, his mother called him John. But when his father returned from France, because of his return from that country, he called him Francis.

Francis and the Son of God, therefore, have similar names meaning about the same things. John is interpreted as he "in whom there is grace,"a Christ means "anointed with the anointing of grace."b Francis, then, was "John" because of fullness of grace and, consequently, "Christ," that is, anointed with grace, and Christ could be called "John," because of the anointing of grace. But Jesus means "Savior."c Francis is spoken of as "the keeper of his brothers, of his fellow citizens." Francis was, therefore, the keeper of his brothers and keeper of those who are fellow citizens of the Saints and members of the household of God, and, consequently, Jesus was "savior" and the Son of God was "Francis," that is, the guardian of the brothers, because he was Savior.


[Saint Andrew] [Bernard of Quintavalle]


6a Andrew was the first of the Apostles whom we read came to Christ and some speak of him as the first Christian. Afterwards, Andrew led Peter to Jesus and together, after they both left everything, they followed him. In the same way, Brother Bernard of Quintavalle was the first to come to blessed Francis. Afterwards he took Brother




Francis of Assisi: Early Documents, vol. 3, p. 683