The Versified Life of Saint Francis (after 1283) - 103 

So that he grew stiff in his limbs and lost his power of speech.
He acknowledged his fault when the Lord gave him back his speech,
And learnt his lesson to show more respect to the holy man.
Once the abbot of Saint Justin, meeting the holy man,
Dismounted and eagerly commended himself to him.
On the abbot's departure Francis stayed in the spot to pray
As he had asked. While he was doing so, behold, far away
The abbot began to experience an unwonted warmth
Of soul and, inside himself, an overflow of sweetness,
So that he became all ecstatic and lost to himself,
Attending upon the Lord. Then once more coming to himself,
He realized it was due to the power of the man that prayed,
And to the brothers he was thereafter a devoted friend.
And then passionate was the zeal for souls that in Francis
Burned, nor did he consider himself to be the friend of Christ,
If it were that he cared not for the souls that He redeemed.
Hence his discussion whether to preach, his ardor for prayer,
His fervor to uplift, his efforts to recover the lost.
If ever he saw somebody stained with the filth of sin,
Stricken with heavy sorrow he almost wasted away.
Sometimes he would be upset by the bad example shown
By those that ought instead to be the builders of the Church.
Once whilst dreading this for his brothers anxiously he prayed,
This is the response from heaven he received back from the Lord:
"Why is it," said the Lord, "you are upset, poor little man?
Was it not over a religion of mine that I placed you,
Whilst its principal patron notwithstanding I remain?
I have by choice placed over it a man as simple as you,
Lest what through you I shall do report claim to be clever,
Natural talent or perception, and what ought to be
Ascribed to me, be credited instead to human counsels.
Those you commend to me," said He, "just as I have called them,
So also shall I feed, keep unharmed and cause to increase;
And no matter how much, though with oppression afflicted,
This poor little religious order of mine may be swayed,
Still it shall always, with me as its defender, remain safe."

See here a new David and Abraham, to whom the word
Of the Almighty promised house, revealed a posterity;
Francis at this, though, was not puffed up, but rather did he
Praise, honor and love Him who so many gifts on him bestowed.
126As he waits for the day of the Lord which reveals the secret.




Francis of Assisi: Early Documents, vol. 3, p. 103