The Little Flowers of Saint Francis (after 1337) - 655 

Chapter 52

The same Brother John of La Verna, since he had perfectly denied every worldly and temporal delight and consolation, and had placed all his delight and all his hope in God, was granted by the divine goodness wonderful consolations and revelations, especially on the solemnities of Christ. Therefore, one time when the solemnity of the Nativity of Christ was approaching, he confidently awaited consolation from God in the sweet humanity of Jesus. And the Holy Spirit put into his spirit such great and abundant love and fervor of Christ's charity, by which He had humbled Himself to take our humanity, that it really seemed to him that his soul was snatched from his body and was burning like a furnace. Unable to bear that burning, he suffered and melted completely and cried out in a loud voice, because through the force of the Holy Spirit and the great heat of love, he could not restrain himself from crying out. In that same moment of boundless heat there came with it such a strong and certain hope of salvation that he would not believe for anything in the world that if he died then he would have to pass through Purgatory. And this love lasted for a good six months: he did not have that excessive heat constantly; rather it came to him at certain hours of the day.

And during this time he later received wonderful visitations and consolations from God; and he was enraptured many times, as seen by that brother who first wrote these things. Among other times, one night he was so raised and rapt in God that he saw in Him, the Creator, all created things, heavenly and earthly, and all their perfection and ranks and distinct orders. And he then knew clearly how each created thing appeared to its Creator, and how God is above and inside and outside and beside all created things. Then he knew one God in three Persons, and three Persons in one God, and the infinite charity that made the Son become incarnate by obedience to the Father. And finally in that vision he knew that there was no other way by which the soul may go to God and have eternal life except through the blessed Christ, Who is the way, the truth and the life Jn 14:6 of the soul.

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




Francis of Assisi: Early Documents, vol. 3, p. 655