The Kinship of Saint Francis - 698 

9d The fourth author, like another John, the eagle, was Brother Bonaventure who was in learning extremely lofty like an eagle, and later became general minister like the king of the birds. This man described more clearly than the others the rapture and mental elevations of Francis and revealed that vision and apparition of the Seraph more clearly than the rest.a

The writings of these men are of greater authority; those of others should be considered apocryphal because the general together with the general chapter had approved the writings of these men.

Lord John the prothonotary wrote with great devotion his life that begins Quasi stella matutina.b

10 Afterwards there were four principal teachers of Francis, describing his life and composing the Office said on his feast. The first of these was Pope Gregory IX who issued a declaration concerning the Rule and wrote that first hymn, Proles de coelo prodiit, and the prayer, that responsory, De paupertatis horreo, and that sequence Caput draconis,c and granted an indulgence to those saying them. In deed and in name, he was very much like Gregory I the Great, the first doctor who established the Roman Office, the first of ecclesiastical offices.

10b The second doctor, like Jerome, another cardinal-priest, was the Lord Thomas who composed those hymns In celesti collegio and

Decus morum.d

10c The third was the Lord Cardinal Raynerius who composed the hymn, Plaude turba, which proceeds very allegorically and mystically in the style of Ambrose.e

10d The fourth was the anagogical doctor, very profound in learning, like another Augustine, Lord Bonaventure, who established the readings and another office,f though I would not say other responsories, because Brother Julian the German wrote those.g




Francis of Assisi: Early Documents, vol. 3, p. 698