The Little Flowers of Saint Francis (after 1337) - 656 

Chapter 53
HOW, WHILE SAYING MASS, BROTHER JOHN OF LA VERNA FELL DOWN AS IF DEAD

To that same Brother John the following wonderful event occurred in the aforesaid place at Mogliano, according to what is recounted by the brothers who were present there. On the first night after the octave of Saint Lawrence, and within the octave of the Assumption of the Lady, after he had said matins in church with the other brothers, the anointing of divine grace came over him, and he went into the garden to contemplate the Passion of Christ and to prepare with all his devotion to celebrate the Mass, which it was his turn to sing that morning. And while contemplating the words for the consecration of the body of Christ, that is, Hoc est corpus meum, Mt 26:26 and considering the infinite charity of Christ, by which He willed not only to purchase us with His precious blood, but also to leave His most worthy body and blood as the food of souls, the love of the sweet Jesus began to grow within him with so much fervor and sweetness that his soul could no longer endure so much sweetness, so he cried out loudly, as if drunk in spirit, repeating to himself, Hoc est corpus meum, and in saying these words he seemed to see the blessed Christ with the Virgin Mary and a multitude of angels. And in saying this he was enlightened by the Holy Spirit about all the deep and high mysteries of that most high Sacrament.

When dawn came, he entered the Church with that fervor of spirit and that anticipation and that phrase, thinking he was not seen or heard by anyone; but in the choir there was a brother in prayer, who heard and saw everything. And in that fervor being unable to contain himself because of the abundance of divine grace, he cried out in a loud voice; and he stayed this way so long that it was time to say Mass, so he went to the altar to vest and began Mass. And as he went on, the further he proceeded, the more the love of Christ and that fervor of devotion grew, and with it he was given an inexpressible feeling of God, one that he himself did not and could not express in words. Since he was afraid that that fervor and feeling of God was growing so much that it would be better to stop the Mass, he was in great perplexity and did not know which way to turn: whether to go on with the Mass or to stop and wait. But, since something similar had happened to him another time, and the Lord had so tempered that fervor that he did not have to stop the Mass, he was confident that he could do the same this time, and with great fear he started to proceed with the Mass; and when he got to the Preface of the Lady, divine grace and gracious gentleness of the love of God began to

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Francis of Assisi: Early Documents, vol. 3, p. 656

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