The Versified Life of Saint Francis  - 468 

The Sixth Book

A DESCRIPTION OF HIS CALLING BACK IN, THROUGH HIS POWERFUL PRAYERS, THE BROTHERS DISPERSED THROUGH THE WORLD'S CLIMES, OF HOW THE NEW ORDER GREW, UNDER APOSTOLIC CONFIRMATION OF ITS STATUTES, AND RECEIVED ITS NEW NAME.

RECTIFYING directions for the resisting of evils, taught them by Francis,
And, ordered, as they were, to open their souls to heaven's will, they
Set out, two by two, for three of the world's regions.a
Francis gave them his blessing, and betook himself, content

5With but one of his soldiers, to a fourth area.b
Who will give account of the divers combats they marched into,
Planting the foot of virtue upon the neck of vices,
And everywhere they went, crushing the head of the serpent Gn 3:15
That was dragging all towards death by the halter of sin? Prv 5:22

10It was painful for Francis, who tenderly loved them, to abide
Their absence for long. He prays that He who brought the disciples,
Scattered through the countries of the world, back home for
Their Mother's obsequies, might gather these dispersed ones too.c
And what he, a mere man, did ask, God was moved to grant:d

15For at one and the same time, and without appointment,
Do they return: it was the same Spirit calling them back
In the twinkling of an eye, from away in the wide world.e
Amazed they stand and still their wondering grows
What cause impelled them to return so quick.

20Even Francis is awed at the effect his praying had.
They look at one another and rejoice;
They are glad for him and he is glad for them,

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Legenda Sancti Francisci Versificata, Fontes Franciscani, p.


Liber VI

Sextus dispersos per mundi climtata fratres mirificis precibus revocantem scribit in unum, Quo per apostolicum sua confirmante statuta succrevit, nomenque novum novus Ordo recepit.

Recta resistendi vitiis praecepta docente
Francisco, fatis animas exponere iussi,
In tria sex abeunt mundi confinia, bini
Et bini. Franciscus eis benedicit, et ipse

5In quartum contentus abit cum milite solo.
Praelia quis numeret quibus, in diversa profecti,
Virtutum pedibus vitiorum colla prementes,
Contrivere caput serpentisubique reperti,
Omnes ad mortem peccati fune trahentis?

10Sed quos Franciscus tenere dilexerat, aegre
Passus abesse diu, rogat ut per climata mundi,
Dispersos qui discipulos collegit in unum
Matris ad exsequias, sparsos quoque congreget istos.
Vota viri movere Deum; simul et semel omnes

15Et sine condicto redeunt, quos Spiritus idem
Colligit in punctum longo licet orbe remotos
Mirari non sufficiunt, quae causa reverti
Tam subito compellat eos; Franciscus et ipse
Obstupet effectum cui causam praebuit orans.

20Visibus alternis hi gaudent huius, hic horum,

Francis of Assisi: Early Documents, vol. 1, p. 468

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