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 The Life of Saint Francis by Julian of Speyer - 389 

Later, this brother was gravely troubled for some time on this account, but the burning eloquence Ps 119:140 [Vulgate, Ps 118:140] of the holy father, which frequently used to drive all clouds from the brothers’ hearts, won him consolation and wisely excused the words and intentions of the priest.

29At this time, the brothers’ simplicity was consoled by frequent revelations, which they merited to receive because of the presence of so great a father. One night Blessed Francis was absent from the brothers, and some were sleeping and others praying, behold, about midnight, a fiery chariot came through the door and passed through the little house back and forth a number of times. Above it, a large ball, which looked like the sun, drove away the darkness of the night with its brightness. As they all came together and asked one another, in great confusion, what this meant, something memorable occurred: owing to the power of that wonderful light, their consciences were revealed to one another.a They therefore understood that this was the soul of the most holy father, which, because of its outstanding purity, was made worthy of being shown transfigured for the solace of the brothers. This holy man truly merited to be called the chariot and charioteer 2 Kgs 02:12 of the threefold army that was spoken of before, because, borne by a fiery chariot in the form of the sun, while still living, he has won in mortal flesh the privilege of a transfiguration.b

Returning physically to his brothers, the man of God delicately began to probe expertly the secrets of their consciences, which, as they often experienced, did not escape him. Oh, in our times it is truly a matter full of wonder and joy that a frail human being discerns the secrets of the minds of others! This holy man again and again revealed many things hidden in the hearts 1 Cor 14:25 of his own brothers. Many times he knew the actions of absent brothers, in dreams forbidding some to do this or that, and ordering others to perform some action. With foresight, he revealed the damnable evils committed by many who appeared good, and predicted the gift of future graces to those who were perceived as evil. Truly the double spirit of prophecy 2 Kgs 2:9 which rested on him became manifest in his lifetime by reason of great miracles (as will be clear below). He also made momentous predictions about the future, a few of which we will describe.

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Iuliani de Spira Officium Sancti Francisci, Fontes Franciscani, p.


4Cumque diu super hoc dictus frater gravissime turbaretur, ad sancti patris ignitum eloquium, quo frequenter omne nubilum a fratrum cordibus fugabatur, tandem consolationem recepit, qui verbum sacerdotis et intentionem sagaciter excusavit.

29 1Crebris quoque revelationibus fratrum simplicitas consolabatur tunc temporis, quas utique meruerunt recipere ex praesentia tanti patris. 2Nam cum nocte quadam se beatus Franciscus a fratribus absentasset, ecce circa mediam noctis horam, quibusdam fratrum quiescentibus, aliis autem orantibus, currus igneus per ostiolum domus introiens huc illucque per domunculam pluries se convertit, 3super quem globus non modicus, speciem solis habens, ipsas quoque sua claritate noctis tenebras effugavit. 4Convenientibus ergo cunctis, et invicem quid hoc esset cum magno stupore quaerentibus, celebri memoria digna res accidit, quod videlicet ex virtute mirandi luminis alterius alteri conscientia nuda fuit. 5Intellexerunt igitur hanc animam esse patris sanctissimi, quam ob praecipuam sui puritatem in filiorum solatium ipse sic meruerat transfiguratam ostendi. 6Vere hic sanctus triplicis militiae, de qua supra dictum est, currus et auriga digne dici promeruit, qui in solari specie, quadriga vectus ignea, adhuc vivens in carne mortali praerogativam transfigurationis obtinuit.

7Reversus itaque corporaliter ad fratres suos vir Dei, coepit conscientiarum illorum subtiliter arcana rimari, quae et ipsum non latere fuerant crebro non inexperti. 8O res utique nostris temporibus stuporis et gaudii plena, infirmum scilicet hominem alienarum mentium diiudicare secreta! 9Multis namque cordium suorum occulta vir iste gloriosus aperuit; absentium quoque fratrum multoties acta cognovit, aliis quidem in somnis, ne hoc vel hoc facerent prohibens, aliis autem istud vel illud agendum praecipiens. 10Multorum etiam, qui boni in facie videbantur, mala damnabilia praevidens nuntiavit; sed et eorum, qui mali, dona gratiarum futura praedixit. 11Vere duplex in ipso prophetarum spiritus requievit, qui et tantis, ut in parte patebit, in vita miraculis claruit, et de futuris, quorum pauca prosequimur, tanta praevidit.

Francis of Assisi: Early Documents, vol. 1, p. 389

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