The Life of Saint Francis by Thomas of Celano - 180 

Prologue

IN THE NAME OF THE LORD. AMEN. HERE BEGINS THE PROLOGUE TO THE LIFE OF THE BLESSED FRANCIS

1 It is my desire to explain in orderly detail the acts and life of our most blessed father Francis: pious devotion and truth will always be my guide and instructor.a Since everything which he did and taught is retained fully in the memory of none, I have endeavored to set forth, insofar as I was able, though with unskilled words, at least those things which I heard from his own mouth or I learned from trustworthy and esteemed witnesses, just as the illustrious lord Pope Gregory has commanded. Acts 1:1 b But how I wish I were deserving to be a disciple of him who always avoided the obscurities of expression and the embellishments of language!

2 I have divided everything that I was able to gather together about the blessed man into three books, and I have separated each book into individual chapters.c In this way the sequence of his various exploits will not be confused nor their truthfulness be brought into doubt. Accordingly, the first book follows an historical sequence and is devoted principally to the purity of his blessed way of life, to his virtuous conduct and his wholesome teaching. In this book I have also introduced a few of the many miracles which our Lord God deemed worthy to perform through him while he was living in the flesh. Phil 1:22 The second book, on the other hand, tells of his deeds from the next to last year of his life up to his happy death. The third book contains many miracles, while passing over in silence many others, which our most glorious Saint performed on earth while reigning with Christ in the heavens. Rv 20:4 Also recorded in this section are the veneration, honor, praise and glory paid

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Vita Prima, Fontes Franciscani, p. 275-276


PROLOGUS

In nomine Domini. Amen. Incipit prologus super vitam beati Francisci.

1 1Actus et vitam beatissimi patris nostri Francisci pia devotione, veritate semper praevia et magistra, seriatim cupiens enarrare, quia omnia quae fecit et docuit, nullorum ad plenum tenet memoria, ea saltem quae ex ipsius ore audivi, vel a fidelibus et probatis testibus intellexi, iubente domino et glorioso papa Gregorio, prout potui, verbis licet imperitis, studui explicare. 2Sed utinam eius merear esse discipulus qui semper locutionum vitavit aenigmata et verborum phaleras ignoravit!

2 1In tribus quoque opusculis divisi omnia, quae de ipso beato viro colligere potui, per singula capitula universa distinguens, ne varietas temporum rerum gestarum confunderet ordinem et in dubium adduceret veritatem. — 2Primum itaque opus historiae ordinem servat ac puritati beatae conversationis et vitae suae, sanctisque moribus et salutaribus documentis eius potissimum dedicatur. 3In quo etiam miracula pauca de multis quae, ipso vivente in carne, Dominus Deus noster per eum operari dignatus est, inseruntur. — 4Secundum autem opus a paenultimo vitae suae anno usque ad felicem ipsius obitum gesta narrat ; 5tertium vero miracula multa continet et plura tacet, quae cum Christo regnans in caelis, gloriosissimus Sanctus operatur in terris. 6Reverentiam quoque refert, honorem, laudem et gloriam, quam ei felix papa Gregorius et cum eo universi sanctae Romanae Ecclesiae cardinales devotissime persolverunt, eum in sanctorum catalogo conscribentes. — 7Gratias omnipotenti Deo qui semper in sanctis suis admirabilem et amabilem se ostendit.

Francis of Assisi: Early Documents, vol. 1, p. 180

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