The Little Flowers of Saint Francis (after 1337) - 648 

did not take it with devotion became black and dark and deformed and horrible to see. Those who drank some and poured out some, became part shining and part shadowy, more or less according to the amount they drank or poured out. But Brother John was resplendent beyond all the others, he who had most fully drunk the chalice of life, and so he contemplated most deeply that abyss of the infinite divine light, and in this he understood the adversity and the storm which was to arise against that tree, breaking and displacing its branches. Because of this that same Brother John left the top of the branch on which he was standing and, descending below all the branches he hid himself at the foot of the tree's trunk and stayed there, very pensive. And Brother Bonaventure, who had taken some from the chalice and had poured out some, went up onto that branch to the place from which Brother John had come down. And while he was standing in that place, his fingernails became fingernails of iron, sharp and cutting like razors; and at this he moved from the place to which he had climbed, and with force and fury tried to throw himself against that same Brother John to harm him. But Brother John, seeing this, cried out loudly and entrusted himself to Christ, who was sitting on the throne: and Christ, at his cry, called Saint Francis and gave him a sharp flint, and said to him: "Go with this flint and cut Brother Bonaventure's fingernails, with which he wants to scratch Brother John, so that he cannot harm him." Then Saint Francis went and did what Christ had commanded. When this was done, a windstorm arose and struck the tree so hard that the brothers fell from it to the ground, and the first to fall from it were those who poured out the whole chalice of the spirit of life, and they were carried off by the demons to dark and painful places. But that same Brother John, together with those who had drunk the whole chalice were transported by the angels to a place of life and eternal light and blessed splendor. And the aforesaid Brother James, who saw this vision, knew and discerned specifically and distinctly all that he was seeing, regarding the names, the conditions and the status of each with clarity. And that storm lasted long enough that the tree fell and was carried away by the wind. And then, as soon as the storm ended, from this tree's root, which was gold, another tree sprang up, all of gold, which produced golden leaves and fruit. About this tree, its growth, its depth, beauty and fragrance and virtues, at the present time it is better to keep silent than to speak.

To the praise of Jesus Christ
and the little poor man Francis.




Francis of Assisi: Early Documents, vol. 3, p. 648