The Life of Saint Francis by Thomas of Celano - 267 

though he could no longer walk on his own, he went through the towns riding on a little donkey. Lk 9:6

The brothers often advised him, urging him to give some relief to his frail and weakened body through the help of doctors. But he absolutely refused to do this. His noble spirit was aimed at heaven and he only desired to be set free and to be with Christ. Phil 1:23 But he had not yet filled up in his flesh what is lacking in the sufferings of Christ, even though he bore the marks on his body. Col 1:24 So God multiplied his mercy on him, and he contracted a serious disease of the eyes. a Day after day the disease grew worse and seemed to be aggravated daily from lack of treatment. Brother Elias, the one he chose for the role of mother to himself and had made a father of the other brothers, b finally forced him not to refuse medicine but to accept it in the name of the Son of God. 1 Jn 5:13 Through Him it was created, as it is written: The Most High created medicine from the earth and the wise will not refuse it. Sir 38:4 The holy father then gladly agreed with him and humbly accepted his direction.

Chapter V
HOW HE WAS RECEIVED AT THE CITY OF RIETI BY THE LORD HUGOLINO, BISHOP OF OSTIA, AND HOW THE HOLY MAN DECLARED THAT HE WOULD BE BISHOP OF THE WHOLE WORLD

99 Many came with their medicines to help him but no remedy could be found. So he went to the city of Rieti where a man was staying who was said to be the greatest expert in curing that disease. When he arrived there he was received kindly and respectfully by the whole Roman Curia, which was then staying in that city. He was especially well received by Lord Hugolino, the bishop of Ostia, who was renowned for his upright conduct and holy life.

Blessed Francis, with the consent and approval of the Lord Pope Honorius, chose this man as father and lord over the whole religion and order of his brothers because blessed poverty greatly pleased him and holy simplicity received his greatest reverence.

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Vita Prima, Fontes Franciscani, p. 374-376


ut cum per se ambulare non posset, asello vectus circuiret terras.

4Frequenter eum monebant fratres, illi omni precum instantia suggerentes, ut infirmum corpus et valde debilitatum medicorum auxilio utcumque recreare deberet. 5Ipse autem, illo suo nobili spiritu in caelum directo, qui solvi solummodo cupiebat et cum Christo esse, hoc facere penitus recusabat. 6Verum quia nondum impleverat ea quae passionum Christi deerant in carne sua, licet stigmata eius in corpore suo portaret, infirmitatem oculorum incurrit gravissimam, quemadmodum multiplicavit in eo misericordiam suam Deus. 7Cumque de die in diem infirmitas illa succresceret et ex incuria videretur quotidie augmentari, frater Helias tandem, quem loco matris elegerat sibi et aliorum fratrum fecerat patrem, compulit eum ut medicinam non abhorreret,8sed eam reciperet in nomine Filii Dei, per quem creata erat, sicut scriptum est: Altissimus de terra creavit medicinam, et vir prudens non abhorrebit eam u .9Sanctus pater vero tunc benigne acquievit et humiliter obtemperavit sermonibus se monentis.

Caput V
Qualiter apud Reatum civitatem receptus fuit a domino Hugone Ostiensi episcopo, et quomodo sanctus eum pronuntiabat futurum episcopum totius mundi.

99 1Factum est autem, cum plures accederent suis eum medicaminibus adiuvare, non invento, remedio, accessit ad civitatem Reatinam, in qua illius infirmitatis curandae morari vir peritissimus dicebatur.2Perveniente igitur eo ibidem benigne satis et honorifice susceptus est a tota Romana curia, quae in eadem civitate tunc temporis morabatur praecipue tamen a domino Hugone episcopo Ostiensi, devotissime susceptus est, qui morum honestate ac sanetitate vitae maxime praefulgebat.

3Hunc vero beatus Franciscus patrem et dominum elegerat super universam religionem et ordinem fratrum suorum, ex assensu et voluntate domini Honorii papae, eo quod illi beata paupertas multum placebat, et sancta simplicitas in maxima reverentia exsistebat.

4Conformabat se dominus ille moribus fratrum, et in desiderio sanctitatis cum simplicibus erat simplex, cum humilibus erat humilis, cum pauperibus erat pauper.5Erat frater inter fratres, inter minores minimus, et velut unus caeterorum, in quantum licitum erat, in vita et moribus gerere se studebat .6Sollicitus erat ubique sacram religionem plantare, et in remotis partibus clara fama clarioris vitae ipsius ordinem plurimum ampliabat.

Francis of Assisi: Early Documents, vol. 1, p. 267

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