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 The Life of Saint Francis by Thomas of Celano - 184 

thing else, many went over to him, partisans of evil and inciters of crime. Thus with his crowded procession of misfits he used to strut about impressively and in high spirits, making his way through the streets of Babylon.a

Then the Lord looked down from the heavens
Ps 33:13 [Vulgate, Ps 32:13] and for the sake of His own name
He removed
His own anger far from him,
and for His own glory He bridled Francis's mouth so that he would not perish Is 48:9 completely.
The hand of the Lord was upon him, Ez 1:3
a change of the right hand of the Most High, Ps 77:11 [Vulgate, Ps 76:11]
that through him the Lord might give sinners confidence in a new life of grace;
and that of conversion to God he might be an example.b

Chapter II


3 That man was still boiling in the sins of youthful heat, and his unstable time of life was driving him without restraint to carry out the laws of youth. At the very time when he, not knowing how to become tame, was aroused by the venom of the ancient serpent, Rv 20:2 the divine vengeance, or rather the divine anointing, came upon him.c This aimed, first of all, at recalling his erring judgment by bringing distress to his mind and affliction to his body, according to that prophecy: Behold I will hedge up your path with thorns, and I will stop it with a wall. Hos 2:6

Thus worn down by his long illness, as human obstinacy deserves since it is rarely remedied except through punishment, he began to mull




Vita Prima, Fontes Franciscani, p. 278-279

5Quoniam multi ob hoc maxime post ipsum abibant, fautores malorum et criminum incentores: sicque constipatus agminibus iniquorum, sublimis et magnanimus incedebat, iter agens per medium Babyloniae platearum

6quousque respiceret de caelis Dominus,
et propter nomen suum
longe faceret furorem suum ab eo,
et infrenaret os eius laude sua, ne penitus interiret.
7Facta est proinde super eum manus Domini,
et immutatio dexterae Excelsi,
ut per eum daretur peccatoribus fiducia in gratiam respirandi,
et conversionis ad Deum omnibus fieret ad exemplum.

Caput II — Qualiter Deus visitavit cor eius per corporis infirmitatem et nocturnam visionem.

3 1Enimvero cum adhue vir iste iuvenili calore in peccatis fervesceret, et lubrica aetas ad explenda iuvenilia iura ipsum impelleret insolenter, ac mansuescere nesciens, antiqui serpentis foret virulentia concitatus, adest subito divina ultio vel potius unctio super eum et aggreditur primo sensum erroneum revocare, animo angustiam et corpori molestiam inferendo, iuxta illud propheticum: Ecce ego saepiam viam tuam spinis et saepiam eam maceria. 2Sicque diu infirmitate attritus, ut meretur pervicacia hominum quae vix nisi suppliciis emendatur, coepit intra se alia solito cogitare.

Francis of Assisi: Early Documents, vol. 1, p. 184

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