The Life of Saint Francis by Julian of Speyer - 410 

happened by chance. And so he closed the book, opened it once again, and as many times as he repeated this very act, he found the same or similar passage as before. The intrepid soldier of Christ was not frightened by this; in fact, he who had long yearned to be a martyr, at that very moment disposed himself zealously to bear all that he could bear for Christ.

And because, for all these things he brought forth with glad heart songs of joy to the Lord, not much later he was deemed worthy of the revelation of a greater mystery.a

61Two years before that blessed man happily died in grace, while he was staying in a hermitage called La Verna, in the air he saw in a vision a six-winged seraph, Dn 8:2 as it were, fastened to a cross with its arms stretched out and feet bound together. It kept two of its wings raised above its head, two extended for flight, and with the remaining two covered its whole body. Is 6:2 Ez 1:5b The holy man was stupefied at the vision, and fear and joy were alternating within him. The marvelous beauty of that appearance was delightful to him, while the horrible crucifixion much frightened him, but this also gave him joy for he noticed that he was being regarded graciously by the seraph. And though for a long time he pondered with anxious spirit what this strange sort of vision might portend, he understood nothing about it clearly, until he later saw this most glorious miracle in his very self—a miracle unheard of, in my judgment, in all the preceding ages.c

62For, lo and behold, the prints of nails, Jn 20:25 as it were, appeared in his hands and feet, and his right side was pierced as though by a lance. Yes, the palms of his hands and the tops of his feet were swollen as if from something like the heads of nails protruding from his very flesh; while the backs of his hands and the soles of his feet bore oblong marks, like the sharp points of nails bent back, which also similarly passed through the rest of the tissue. Truly, in his right side a wound covered by a scar appeared, which often dripped sacred blood, stained his tunic and, sometimes, his undergarments.




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

suspicatus est ne casu hoc forsitan accidisset. 5Unde et rursus librum claudens, rursus aperuit, pluriesque hoc ipsum reiterans, idem quod prius vel simile prorsus invenit. 6Ad hoc Christi miles intrepidus non expavit; et qui iam dudum martyr desiderio fuit, etiam tunc se ad omne, quod pro Christo sustineri poterat, flagrantius animavit.

7Et quoniam pro his omnibus Domino laetitiae cantica corde iucundo deprompsit, propterea non multo post maioris revelatione mysterii dignus fuit.

61 1Nam duobus annis antequam vir ille beatus felicem Domino spiritum redderet, moram in eremitorio quod Alverna dicitur faciens, vidit in visione quasi Seraph unum in aëre sex alas habentem, cruci manibus extensis pedibusque coniunctis affixum. 2Alarum vero duas super caput erectas et duas ad volandum extensas habebat; porro duabus totum corpus tegebat. 3Obstupuit vehementer vir sanctus ad visum, et alternabantur in ipso timor et gaudium. 4Delectabat eum speciei illius mirabilis pulchritudo; deterrebat plurimum horrenda crucis affixio; sed et hoc laetificabat, quod gratiose se respici videbat ab illo. 5Cumque diutius anxio spiritu cogitaret quid huiusmodi visionis novitas importaret, nihil de illa liquido intelligere poterat, 6donec in se ipso tandem vidit gloriosissimum illud miraculum: miraculum, inquam, omnibus, ut arbitror, retroactis saeculis inauditum.

62 1Apparebant namque in manibus eius et pedibus quasi fixurae clavorum, latusque ipsius dextrum veluti lancea perforatum. 2Manuum videlicet interior et pars pedum superior supereminentia quaedam ex ipsa carne veluti clavorum capita protendebat; 3manus autem exterius et pedes inferius signa quaedam oblonga gerebant, veluti retorta clavorum acumina, quae et ipsa carnem similiter reliquam excedebant. 4In latere vero dextro cicatrice obductum vulnus apparuit, quod et sacrum sanguinem saepius evaporans tunicam ipsius necnon et aliquoties femoralia tinxit.

Francis of Assisi: Early Documents, vol. 1, p. 410