The Life of Saint Francis by Julian of Speyer - 415 

First he blessed him and, in him, all the brothers; and, after praying for a great number of things for him, he confirmed many kinds of blessings in him. After this he added: “Be strong, my sons, all of you, in the fear of the Lord, and always abide in him, because tribulation approaches you and a mighty temptation will be upon you. Happy, however, are those who will have persevered Mt 10:22 in the good works they have begun.”a

Then he asked to be taken immediately to Saint Mary of the Portiuncula, wishing to return his soul to the Lord there in that very place where, first, as we have said, he had come to know the way of truth Ps 119:30 [Vulgate, Ps 118:30] perfectly.b He had counseled the brothers to guard that place with all reverence and honor. He maintained that it was especially suitable for prayer and divine services and he said that it was visited by a multitude of spirits from above.

69He rested for a few days in the place he longed for, until, knowing that the hour of death was finally near, he called two brothers to him, whom he instructed quickly to proclaim loudly in song the Praises of the Lord for his nearing death. He himself, as much as he could, broke forth into this psalm: With my voice I have cried to the Lord, with my voice I have beseeched the Lord. One of the brothers, standing by and troubled on the part of everyone, said to him: “Ah, kind father, behold your sons who remain here without a father! Be mindful of the orphans Jn 13:1 whom you are deserting and, forgiving all our faults, deign to console with your holy blessing those present and those absent.” The most pious father answered him: “Behold, my son, I am now being called by the Lord. Truly, I remit all the offenses and faults of my brothers, present and absent; and, as much as I can, I absolve them. Do you, when you report these things to them, my son, bless them all for me.”

Then he asked that the Gospel according to John be read to him, with the passage that begins . . . the day before the Passover. Jn 13:1c Then he instructed the brothers to cover him with a hair shirt and sprinkle him with ashes. Thus, with his sons standing around him and mourning, the holy father happily fell asleep in the Lord. Acts 7:60

70One of them, a special disciple of his, a man of no little fame, whose name is kept silent because he did not wish to be glorified by

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


6Primum igitur illi, ac deinceps universis in eius persona fratribus benedixit, et bona illi plurima imprecatus, benedictiones in eo multimodas confirmavit. 7Quibus completis, adiecit: « Valete, filii, omnes in timore Domini et permanete semper in ipso, quoniam tribulatio vobis approximat et maxima super vos est futura tentatio. 8Felices autem illi sunt qui in bonis perseveraverint, quae coeperunt ».

9Tunc sine mora ad Sanctam Mariam de Portiuncula se transferri poscebat, volens illic animam reddere Domino, ubi primo, ut dictum est, perfecte viam veritatis agnoverat. 10Illum quoque locum in omni reverentia et honore fratribus custodire praeceperat; 11hunc specialiter asserebat divinis obsequiis et orationibus congruum; hunc supernorum dicebat spirituum frequentia visitatum.

69 1Igitur in loco sibi desiderato paucis diebus quievit, donec tandem mortis horam instare cognoscens, duos ad se fratres vocavit, quibus de transitu eius vicino Laudes alacriter Domino decantare praecepit. 2Ipse vero, prout potuit, in hunc psalmum prorupit: « Voce mea ad Dominum clamavi, voce mea ad Dominum deprecatus sum ». 3Unus autem e fratribus qui adstabant, pro cunctis sollicitus, dixit ad eum: « Heu, pater benigne, ecce filii tui remanent sine patre! 4Recordare igitur orphanorum quos deseris, et, omnibus culpis remissis, tam praesentes quam absentes tua sancta benedictione consolari digneris ». 5Cui piissimus pater respondit: « Ecce ego quidem iam vocor a Domino, fili! 6Fratribus vero meis tam absentibus quam praesentibus omnes offensas et culpas remitto, et eos sicut possum absolvo; quibus tu haec, fili, denuntians, ex parte mea omnibus benedicas ».

7Porro Evangelium secundum Iohannem ab eo loco ubi incipit: Ante diem festum paschae sibi legi poposcit; deinde se cilicio superponi cinereque conspergi praecepit. 8Et sic, filiis circumstantibus et lugentibus, pater sanctus in Domino feliciter obdormivit.

70 1Unus autem ex illis, specialis eius discipulus, vir fama non modicum celeber, cuius nomen ideo subticetur eo quod tanto nollet praeconio gloriari dum viveret,

Francis of Assisi: Early Documents, vol. 1, p. 415

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