The Tree of the Crucified Life of Jesus Book Five (Excerpts) - 151 

the sixth seal begins with Francis and the Order he founded, and that the iniquity of the Church would be brought to a head by the shambles his life and Rule were in, due to his delinquent sons and those prelates who were wrong to indulge them. The Church I mean is the one that does not deserve to be called Jerusalem and Jesus' Bride, but Babylon and "Shameless Whore;" at whose judgment the "life of Christ" will be restored in all its brilliance, and at whose condemnation, in the sixth vision of the Apocalypse, the Alleluia is sung with such solemnity by the holy ones.

39And yet I firmly believe that Jesus, who vindicates truth as His own, has displayed so many miracles when this holy man was invoked, that the frank declarations of the latter to an unspiritual Church, which were most abhorrent to Francis's degenerate sons, might be clearly authenticated for all who can see with faith, and receiving God's incontestable corroboration from heaven might be observed with firm faith and dedication.

46In fact, four years before his happy passing, I, who had always trembled at my transgressions of the observance of my promised state, heard a message expressed from his lips, while focusing on his angelic face. "My son," he said securely, "within four years God will tell you explicitly whom you should follow, and whose word of truth should be followed without hesitation." I was in Greccio where, on the Feast of Saint James, the eighth of the kalends of August, after the angelic man, leading an angelic life, heard the confession of my sins, I poured out my anxieties, because I did not know whom I should follow—for both the Church's prelates as well as those of the Order not only sustained this relaxation of life, but even imposed it. But he spoke in a manner opposed to them, and then, in tears and, I believe, kneeling at his holy feet in seclusion, he spoke those words to me.

423a4But four years later, I believe it was about the twentieth of March, he happily passed into heaven, continuing in that teaching, while I was living far off in many distractions and sorrows because of the imperfection of the status, pressed by the office of being a lector. On Pentecost, while I was tending to other matters, Brother Solomon, the minister of the Marches, suddenly appeared at our place with news of the death of John, a saint of God, and of the innumerable miracles with which he shone. Even though my mind had been preoccupied with other things, and I was not thinking at all about what I had heard from the holy man, immediately it was as if a lance pierced my heart. All that he had said brought back to my mind the Spirit of Christ's truth. It was as if I were seeing him before me speaking to my heart. "Look at him whom you should follow. For




Francis of Assisi: Early Documents, vol. 3, p. 151