The Versified Life of Saint Francis  - 508 

The Twelfth Book

THE TIME OF HIS DEATH IS PREDICTED, CRUCIFIED CHERUB APPEARS, CHRIST'S PASSION, STIRRING HIS SOUL, IS SHOWN IN HIS LIMBS, SADLY SUFFERING WITH HIS EYES, HE RELUCTANTLY SEES A DOCTOR.

NO cessation for him in a warfare that presses hard
The proud necks of the haughty, as he holds back injurious
Attacks, brings monsters to heel, over fifteen years and three.a
And once while spending the night in Foligno, purging it of

5Fuliginous sin and brightening it with the fulgent wordb
Of God, there appears to Brother Elias
This venerable priest with white hair all over his temples.c
On seeing him, the brother is filled with wonder. "Go,"
Says the priest, "tell Francis he must prepare for his hour:

10Fated stands at the door; in two years she will knock.
This is the span he has left, and no more time remains."e
What he was told to say Elias relates to Francis.f
He, giving thought to the fact that the last days of his lifeg
Had arrived, betakes himself to a secluded place to reside

15In quiet. There he might shake from his feet earth's clinging
Dust, where Martha's ministrations would not distract
His unsullied soul, but contemplation would wholly engage it,
And where he could spend the remaining years on things above.
Sojourning there he contemplates and prays, Mt 25:5

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Legenda Sancti Francisci Versificata, Fontes Franciscani, p.


Liber XII

Certa duodecimus praedicit tempora mortis; Apparet Cherubim crucifixus; passio Christi Afficiens animam perhibetur in artubus extra; Triste dolens oculos medicum vix curat adire.

Non cessans a militiis quibus alta premuntur
Colla superborum, cohibendo nociva, domando
Monstra, tribus lustris totidem subiunxerat annos.
Dumque semel Fulgineum fuligine purgans

5Peccati, verbique Dei fulgore serenans,
Pernoctaret ibi, fratri reverendus Heliae
Presbyter apparet respersus tempora canis.
Viso frater eo miratur, at ille: " Fer ", inquit,
" Nuntia Francisco, sit praemunitus ad horam:

10Parca stat ante fores, annis pulsura duobus;
Istud habet spatii, nec tempora plura supersunt ".
Dicta sibi iussus Francisco narrat Helias.
Qui, sibi perpendens instare novissima vitae
Tempora, desertum secretior introit hospes,

15Ut si quis pedibus terrenus, pulvis adhaesit,
Excutiat mentemque meram non distrahat ullis
Martha ministeriis, sed contemplatio totam.
Occupet, et reliquos Superis indulgeat annos.
Cumque moram faciens ibi, contemplatur et orat,

Francis of Assisi: Early Documents, vol. 1, p. 508

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