The Tree of the Crucified Life of Jesus Book Five (Excerpts) - 149 

when the Holy Spirit is manifested in a special manner, the time of the opening of the sixth seal, the sixth age of the Church, when she is to be presented with the life of Christ. Then is the life of Jesus returned to, as to the principle of perfection; it is as if a new circular journey were begun, a fresh beginning for the Church, as she returns to her first days.

21And that is why I told you earlier that this sixth age refers especially to the time of Christ. John speaks of this symbolically as the opening of the sixth seal I saw another angel rising where the sun rises, carrying the seal of the living God. Rv 7:2 Now, the abbot Joachim,a in his commentary on the Apocalypse, has this to say: "This angel is the one whom Christ looks upon as His like who is to come at the beginning of the third status of the world's history." Therefore, from the insight granted to Joachim, it is plain that at the beginning of the sixth status the world would be given an "angelic man" whom Christ regards as resembling Himself, since he is to appear as the one great restorer of the life of Christ.

30I myself heard from a doctor of distinction belonging to this Orderb that he was present when Brother Bonaventure, general minister at the time and himself a distinguished teacher, solemnly declared at a Paris Chapter that he was fully convinced that the blessed Francis was the angel of the sixth seal. He said that John the Evangelist actually had Francis, his form of life, and his Order in mind; that when he was writing, he saw Francis in spirit; that, in all the verses he was writing about the sixth opening in the Apocalypse, he beheld the fraternity of his sons, who were perfect imitators of Christ. Also at that Paris Chapter the same Brother Bonaventure stated, with a good deal of passion, as I heard from my source, unless my memory fails me, that he was fully satisfied no doubts could be entertained about all this, on account of significant and unequivocal revelations made to persons of serious caliber. I who write this am convinced, by the many testimonies of holy brothers of the past, that clear revelations were made to the blessed Francis and to many companions of his—whose apostolic life is beyond suspicion to the mind that is not dishonest, envious, or twisted—concerning the Order from its foundation, through its growth, dreadful decline and fall, to its glorious resurgence; rather like the sun's course, which in turn portrays the life of Christ. These things were revealed not to one




Francis of Assisi: Early Documents, vol. 3, p. 149