The Life of Saint Francis by Thomas of Celano - 250 

any harm to come to them, but instead to preserve, nourish, and guide them carefully.

Chapter XXIX

80 To enumerate and recount all the things
our glorious father Francis did
and taught while living in the flesh
Phil 1:22 would be a lengthy or an even impossible task.
Who could ever express the deep affection he bore
for all things that belong to God? Mt 22:21
Or who would be able to tell
Sir 18:2
of the sweet tenderness he enjoyed
while contemplating in creatures
the wisdom, power, and goodness of the Creator?
From this reflection
he often overflowed
with amazing, unspeakable joy
as he looked at the sun,
gazed at the moon, or observed the stars in the sky.
What simple piety!
What pious simplicity!

Even for worms he had a warm love, since he had read this text about the Savior: I am a worm and not a man. Ps 22:7 [Vulgate, Ps 21:7] That is why he used to pick them up from the road and put them in a safe place so that they would not be crushed by the footsteps of passersby.

What shall I say about the other lesser creatures? In the winter he had honey or the best wine put out for the bees so that they would not perish from the cold. He used to extol the artistry of their work and their remarkable ingenuity, giving glory to the Lord. With such an outpouring, he often used up an entire day or more in praise of them and other creatures. Once the three young men in the furnace of burning fire invited all the elements to praise and glorify the Creator of all things, so this man, full of the spirit of God never stopped glorifying, praising,




Vita Prima, Fontes Franciscani, p. 355-356

nee malum aliquod, eis inferret, sed conservaret, nutriret et regeret studiose.

Caput XXIX — De amore quem propter Creatorem in omnibus creaturis habebat et de descriptione utriusque hominis sui.

801Longum esset nimis et impossibile
omnia numerare ac recolligere,
quae gloriosus pater Franciscus fecit
et docuit, donec in carne vixit.
2Quis enim umquam posset summum eius affectum exprimere,
quo in omnibus quae Dei sunt ferebatur?
3Quis enarrare sufficeret
dulcedinem qua fruebatur,
contemplans in creaturis
sapientiam Creatoris, potentiam et bonitatem eius?
4Revera miro
atque ineffabili gaudio ex hac consideratione
saepissime replebatur,
cum respiciebat solem,
cum lunam cernebat, cum stellas et firmamentum intuebatur.
5O pietas simplex, et o simplicitas pia!

6Circa vermiculos etiam nimio flagrabat amore, quia legerat de Salvatore dictum: Ego sum vermis et non homo.7Et idcirco eos colligebat de via, in tuto recondens loco, ne transeuntium vestigiis tererentur.

8Quid de aliis inferioribus creaturis dicam, cura et apibus in hieme, ne frigoris algore deficerent, mel sive optimum vinum faceret exhiberi?9quarum efficaciam operum et ingenii excellentiam ad Domini gloriam tanto praeconio extollebat, ut diem unam plerumque in earum caeterarumque creaturarum laudibus consummaret.10Sicut enim olim tres pueri, in camino ignis ardentis positi, ad laudandum et glorificandum creatorem universitatis, elementa omnia invitabant, sic et iste vir, spiritu Dei plenus, in omnibus elementis et creaturis creatorem omnium ac gubernatorem glorificare, laudare ac benedicere non cessabat.

Francis of Assisi: Early Documents, vol. 1, p. 250