The Life of Saint Francis by Thomas of Celano - 244 

With blessed devotion he visited the heavenly mansions;
and, totally emptied of himself Phil 2:7,
he rested for a long time in the wounds of the Savior.
That is why he often chose solitary places
to focus his heart entirely on God.

But he was not reluctant,
when he discerned the time was right,
to involve himself in the affairs of his neighbors,
and attend to their salvation.
For his safest haven was prayer;
not prayer of a fleeting moment, empty and proud,
but prayer that was prolonged,
full of devotion, peaceful in humility.
If he began at night,
he was barely finished at morning.
Walking, sitting, eating, drinking,
he was focused on prayer.
He would spend the night alone praying
in abandoned churches and in deserted places
with the protection of divine grace,
he overcame his soul's many fears and anxieties.a

72 He used to struggle hand to hand Ez 21:24 with the devil who, in those places, would not only assault him internally with temptations but also frighten him externally with ruin and undermining.b The brave soldier of God knew that his Lord could do all things in all places; thus he did not give in to the fears but said in his heart: "You, evil one! You cannot strike me with your evil weapons here any more than if we were in front of a crowd in a public place."

He was extremely determined and paid no attention to anything beyond what was of the Lord. Though he often preached the word of God among thousands of people, he was as confident as if he were speaking




Vita Prima, Fontes Franciscani, p. 347-348

4Felici certe devotione circuibat caelibes mansiones,
et in vulneribus Salvatoris,
exinanitus totus, diutius residebat.
5Eligebat proinde frequenter solitaria loca,
ut ex toto animum in Deum posset dirigere,

nec tamen pigritabatur,
cum tempus cerneret opportunum,
se negotiis ingerere
ac saluti libens intendere proximorum.
6Nam eius tutissimus portus erat oratio,
non unius exsistens momenti, vacuave aut praesumptuosa,
sed lopga tempore,
plena devotione, humilitate placida:
si sero incipiebat,
vix mane finiebat;
ambulans, sedens, comedens et bibens,
orationi erat intentus.
7In ecclesiis derelictis et in deserto positis
solus ad orandum nocte pergebat,
in quibus,
divina gratia protegente,
multos timores multasque angustias animi superavit.

721Manu ad manum cum diabolo confligebat, cum in eiusmodi locis non solum tentationibus ipsum pulsaret interius, verum etiam exterius ruinis et subversionibus deterreret. 2Sed sciens fortissimus miles Dei, Dominum suum ubique omnia posse, terroribus non cedebat, sed aiebat in corde suo: « Nihil amplius, o malevole, potes in me malitiae tuae arma excutere, quam si in publico coram, omnibus maneremus ». 3Revera constantissimus erat valde et in nullo, nisi quod erat Domini, attendebat . 4Nam cum inter multa millia hominum verbum Dei saepissime praedicaret, ita securus erat ac si cum familiari socio loqueretur.

Francis of Assisi: Early Documents, vol. 1, p. 244