The Versified Life of Saint Francis  - 475 

The Seventh Book

HE IS SHOWN TEACHING THE BROTHERS TO PRAY; HOW, AS THEY KEEP WATCH, HE APPEARS, THOUGH ABSENT; HOW HE STROVE IN THE WORLD'S EYES TO BE VILE; HOW FERVOR FOR MARTYRDOM SENDS HIM OVER THE SWELLING WAVES.

IN the meanwhile the brothers were all heart in pressing Francis
To give them instruction in the way they should pray.
Kindly he answers their honest request in these terms:
"We are all of us caught in the snare of vices and sins. Nm 16:26a

5Prayerfully turn then to the help of the powers above you;
For, unaided you durst not ascend to your heavenly goal.
No, let the Virgin blest be your mediatrix with Christ,
And Christ with the Father be your mediator.
'To the Virgin let his be your salutation:

10O loving Mother, hail Mary, filled with the Spirit's gift,
The Lord be with you, Lk 1:28 *you who are blessed among women,
And blessed the fruit of your womb.'
Lk 1:42 And say those words
For as long and as often as your devotion lasts.
For through these you ponder the first joys of Christ's mother;

15So may he help you reach the joys of the future.
His mother greeted, prayed unto Christ in this vein:
'We adore you, O Christ, ruler of all above and on earth,
We bless you, O you who were crucified.
By the cruel cross you healed our wounds, by your death

20Restored our mortal race.' Supported by these intercessions,
Send up this prayer to the highest Father:
'O fatherless Father of ours, heaven's radiant halls
Bow down before you. Hallowed be the name of your Godhead,
And your kingdom come, and your will be done on earth as in heaven.

25Give us this day our daily bread, and remit our debts,
Just as we remit the debts of others, and lead us not Mt 6:9

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Legenda Sancti Francisci Versificata, Fontes Franciscani, p.


Liber VII

Septimus ostendit fratres orare docentem; Quantus eis apparuerit vigilantibus absens; Quam vilis mundo curaverit esse; quis ipsum Martyrii fervor tumidis commiscrit undis.

Interea supplex instat devotio fratrum
Ut Franciscus eos informet, qualiter orent.
Ille satisfaciens precibus clementer honestis:
" Peccatis ", ait, et " vitiis involvimur omnes;

5Ergo supernorum debens oratio niti
Vestra patrociniis, proprio non evolet ausu
Ad superos, immo mediatrix Virgo beata
Ad Christum, Christus ad Patrem sit mediator.
Virgo salutetur sermone videlicet isto:

10O pia mater, ave, Maria, charismate plena,
Sit Dominus tecum, mulieribus in benedica
Tu, ventrisque tui fructus benedictus c; et istum
Sermonem toties devotio vestra revolvat.
Haec ut prima suae recolentes gaudia Matris,

15Gaudia vos faciat perferre novissima Christus.
Matre salutata, deinceps hac voce rogetur
Christus: Adoramus te, Christe, superna regentem
Et terrena, tibi benedicimus, o Crucifixe,
Qui cruce sanasti cruciatus, qui reparasti

20Morte tua mortale genus. Mediantibus istis
Ad summum directa Patrem precis ista feratur:
O sine patre Pater noster, cui splendida caeli
Supplicat aula, tuae deitatis sanctificetur
Nomen, et adveniat regnum, fiatque voluntas

25In terra sicut in caelo; cotidianum
Panem da nobis hodie, nobisque remitte
Debita nostra, prout aliena remittimus, et ne
Nos inducas in tentamen, sed mala longe

Francis of Assisi: Early Documents, vol. 1, p. 475

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