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§ 70. St. Francis d’Assisi.


"Not long the period from his glorious birth,

When, with extraordinary virtue blest,

This wondrous sun began to comfort earth,

Bearing, while yet a child, his father’s ire,

For sake of her whom all as death detest,

And banish from the gate of their desire,

Before the court of heaven, before

His father, too, he took her for his own;

From day to day, then loved her more and more,

Twelve hundred years had she remained, deprived

Of her first spouse, deserted and unknown,

And unsolicited till he arrived.



But lest my language be not clearly seen,

Know, that in speaking of these lovers twain,

Francis and Poverty henceforth, I mean."

—Dante, Paradiso XI., Wright’s trans.


High up in the list of hagiography stands the name of Francis of Assisi, the founder of the order of the Franciscans. Of all the Italian saints, he is the most popular in Italy and beyond it.792792    The former unfavorable view of most Protestant historians concerning Francis is no longer held. Hallam, Middle Ages, II. 197, called him "a harmless enthusiast, pious and sincere, but hardly of sane mind." Lea, representing the present tendency, goes far, when he says. "No human creature since Christ has more fully incarnated the ideal of Christianity than Francis." Hist. of Inquis., I. 260. Harnack says, "If ever a man practised what he preached, it was St. Francis." An anonymous writer, reviewing some of the Franciscan literature in the Independent, 1901, p. 2044, seriously pronounced the judgment that "Since the Apostles, Francis received into his being the love of Christ toward men and the lower creatures more fully than any other man, and his appearance has been an epoch of spiritual history only less significant than that of the original Good Tidings." More judicious is Sabatier’s verdict, Vie de S. Franc., p. viii., "that Francis is pre-eminently the saint of the Middle Ages. Owing nothing to the Church, he was truly theodidact."

Francesco,—Francis,—Bernardone, 1182–1226, was born and died in Assisi. His baptismal name was Giovanni, John, and the name Francis seems to have been given him by his father, Pietro Bernardone, a rich dealer in textile fabrics, with reference to France, to which he made business journeys. Francis studied Latin and was imperfectly acquainted with the art of writing. He had money to spend, and spent it in gayeties. In a war between Assisi and Perugia he joined the ranks, and was taken prisoner. When released, he was twenty-two. During an illness which ensued, his religious nature began to be stirred. He arose from his bed disgusted with himself and unsatisfied with the world. Again he enlisted, and, starting to join Walter of Brienne in Southern Italy, he proceeded as far as Spoleto. But he was destined for another than a soldier’s career. Turning back, and moved by serious convictions, he retired to a grotto near Assisi for seclusion. He made a pilgrimage to Rome, whether to do penance or not, is not known. His sympathies began to go out to the poor. He met a leper and shrank back in horror at first, but, turning about, kissed the leper’s hand, and left in it all the money he had. He frequented the chapels in the suburbs of his native city, but lingered most at St. Damian, an humble chapel, rudely furnished, and served by a single priest. This became to his soul a Bethel. At the rude altar he seemed to hear the voice of Christ. In his zeal he took goods from his father and gave them to the priest. So far as we know, Francis never felt called upon to repent of this act. Here we have an instance of a different moral standard from our own. How different, for example, was the feeling of Dr. Samuel Johnson, when, for an act of disobedience to his father, he stood, as a full-grown man, a penitent in the rain in the open square of Litchfield, his head uncovered!

The change which had overcome the gay votary of pleasure brought upon Francis the ridicule of the city and his father’s relentless indignation. He was cast out of his father’s house. Without any of those expressions of regret which we would expect from a son under similar circumstances, he renounced his filial obligation in public in these words: "Up to this time I have called Pietro Bernardone father, but now I desire to serve God and to say nothing else than ’Our Father which art in heaven.’ " Henceforth Francis was devoted to the religious life. He dressed scantily, took up his abode among the lepers, washing their sores, and restored St. Damian, begging the stones on the squares and streets of the city. This was in 1208.

Francis now received from the Benedictine abbot of Mt. Subasio the gift of the little chapel, Santa Maria degli Angeli.793793    The Speculum perfectionis, pp. 94 sqq., leaves no room for doubting the gift of the church to Francis. The gift was made on condition that the chapel should always remain the centre of the brotherhood.794794    That is, in the cell a few yards from Portiuncula. Both Portiuncula and the cell, which has been turned into a chapel, are now under the roof of the basilica.ter years he secured from Honorius III. the remarkable concession of plenary indulgence for every one visiting the chapel between vespers of Aug. 1 to vespers of Aug. 2 each year. This made the Portiuncula a shrine of the first rank.

In 1209 Francis heard the words, "Preach, the kingdom of heaven is at hand, heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, cast out devils. Provide neither silver nor gold, nor brass in your purses." Throwing away his staff, purse, and, shoes, he made these Apostolic injunctions the rule of his life. He preached repentance and gathered about him Bernardo di Quintavallo, Egidio, and other companions. The three passages commanding poverty and taking up the cross, Matt. xvi:24–26; xix:21; Luke ix:1–6, were made their Rule.795795    Sabatier limits the Rule to these passages of Scripture. Thomas of Celano, Vita sec., II. 10, says that Francis "used chiefly the words of the Holy Gospel" but says further that "he added a few other things which were necessary for a holy life pauca tamen inseruit alia."ould not earn their bread, went barefoot796796    In case of necessity the wearing of sandals was permitted. Speculum, p. 8.

They were to preach, but especially were they to exemplify the precepts of the Gospel in their lives. Living was the most important concern, more important than sermons and than learning. Learning, Francis feared, would destroy humility. To a woman who came to him for alms he gave a copy of the New Testament, which they read at matins, the only book in the convent at the time. The convent did not even possess a breviary.797797    Speculum, 38; 2 Cel. 3, 35. The woman was expected to sell the book. had the double sense of a man without education and a man with little more than a primary education. It was also used of laymen in contrast to clerics. Francis’ education was confined to elemental studies, and his biographers are persistent in emphasizing that he was taught directly of God.798798    On the meaning of idiota, see Felder, p. 61, and Böhmer, p. xi. Felder, pp. 59 sqq., makes an effort to parry the charges that Francis lacked education and disparaged education for his order. Celano calls him vir idiota and says nullis fuit scientiae studiis innutritus. He also speaks of him as singing in French as he walked through a forest. See the notes in Felder.799799    See Böhmer, pp. xiii. sq., 69 sq.

In 1210 Francis and some of his companions went to Rome, and were received by Innocent III.800800    Giotto has made the meeting with Innocent seated on his throne the subject of one of his frescoes. A splendid contrast indeed, the sovereign of kings and potentates and yet the successor of Peter, recognizing the humble devotee, whose fame was destined to equal his own! The date usually given is 1209. Sabatier gives reasons for the change to 1210. St. François, p. 100.s that the pope, in order to test his sincerity, said, "Go, brother, go to the pigs, to whom you are more fit to be compared than to men, and roll with them, and to them preach the rules you have so ably set forth." Francis obeyed, and returning said, "My Lord, I have done so."801801    M. Paris, Luard’s ed., III. 132. Sabatier remarks that the incident has a real Franciscan color and is to be regarded as having some historic basis.

The brotherhood increased rapidly. The members were expected to work. In his will Francis urged the brethren to work at some trade as he had done. He compared an idle monk to a drone.802802    Spectulum, p. 49. See also Cel. 10; 2 Cel. 97. Sabatier insists that Francis had "no intention of creating a mendicant order, but a working order." S. François, p.138. Denifle also called attention to this feature, Archiv, 1885, p. 482. to sell the very ornaments of the altar rather than refuse an appeal for aid. He felt ashamed when he saw any one poorer than himself.803803    Speculum, xvii.e called Poverty his bride, mother, sister, and remained devoted to her with the devotion of a knight.804804    Celano in his first Life speaks of the sacred intercourse between Francis and holy Poverty, commercium cum sancta paupertate. The work entitled Sacrum commercium, etc., relates in full the story accounting for Francis’ espousal of Poverty., seated "on the throne of her neediness," received them and Francis praised her as the inseparable companion of the Lord, and "the mistress and queen of the virtues." Poverty replied that she had been with Adam in paradise, but had become a homeless wanderer after the fall until the Lord came and made her over to his elect. By her agency the number of believers was greatly increased, but after a while her sister Lady Persecution withdrew from her. Believers lost their fortitude. Then monks came and joined her, but her enemy Avarice, under the name of Discretion, made the monks rich. Finally monasticism yielded completely to worldliness, and Poverty removed wholly from it. Francis now joined himself to Poverty, who gave him and his companions the kiss of peace and descended the mountain with them. A new era was begun. Henceforth the pillow of the friends was a stone, their diet bread and water, and their convent the world.805805    Jacopone da Todi took up the idea and represented Poverty going through the earth and knocking at the door of convent after convent, and being turned away. Hase, with reference to Francis’ apotheosis of Poverty, says, that Diogenes was called a mad Socrates, and so Francis was a mad Christ, ein verrückter Christus. KirchenGesch. II. 382. In its opening chapter the Commercium explains the beatitude, "Blessed are the poor in spirit," to refer to the renunciation of worldly goods, and puts into the hands of Poverty the keys of the kingdom of heaven.

In 1212 Clara of Sciffi entered into the horizon of Francis’ life. She was twelve years his junior and sixteen when she first heard him preach at the Cathedral of Assisi. The sermon entered her soul. With Francis’ aid she escaped from her father’s house, and was admitted to vows by him.806806    Francis was a deacon and never a priest. According to Thomas à Celano, Francis was austere in his relations to women, and knew only two women by sight. Sabatier, pp. 169 sq., pronounces this portraiture false and speaks of "the love of St. Francis and St. Clara." Here, as in other places, the biographer allows himself the license of the idealist. Francis’ last message to Clara is given in the Speculum Perfectionis, pp. 180 sqq. The Franciscan Rule of 1223 forbids, suspicious conferences with women, "but allows the friars to enter monastaries of nuns by permission of the Holy See. See Robinson, p. 73. A younger sister, Agnes, followed Clara. The Chapel of St. Damian was set apart for them, and there the order of Clarisses was inaugurated. Clara outlived Francis, and in 1253 expired in the presence of brothers Leo, Angelo, and Ginefro.

In 1217 Francis was presented to Honorius III. and the curia. At the advice of Cardinal Ugolino, later Gregory IX., he prepared himself and memorized the sermon. Arrived in the pontiff’s presence, he forgot what he had prepared and delivered an impromptu discourse, which won the assembly.

Francis made evangelistic tours through Italy which were extended to Egypt and Syria 1219. Returning from the East the little Poor Man, il poverello, found a new element had been introduced into the brotherhood through the influence of the stern disciplinarian Ugolino. This violent change made the rest of the years a time of bitter, though scarcely expressed, sorrow for him. Passing through Bologna in 1220, he was pained to the depths at seeing a house being erected for the brothers. Cardinal Ugolino had determined to manipulate the society in the interest of the curia. He had offered Francis his help, and Francis had accepted the offer. Under the cardinal’s influence, a new code was adopted in 1221, and still a third in 1223 in which Francis’ distinctive wishes were set aside. The original Rule of poverty was modified, the old ideas of monastic discipline introduced, and a new element of absolute submission to the pope added. The mind of Francis was too simple and unsophisticated for the shrewd rulers of the church. The policy of the ecclesiastic henceforth had control of the order.807807    According to the Speculum, pp. 1-4, 76, Francis made three Rules. Sabatier defines them as the Rule of 1210, confirmed by Innocent III., the Rule of 1221, confirmed by Honorius III., which in part misrepresented Francis’ views. The Rule of 1223 went further in this direction and completely overthrew Francis’ original intention. The first clause of the Rule of 1228 runs, "Brother Francis promises obedience and reverence to the lord pope, Honorius, and his successors." This rule is still in force in the first Franciscan order. Madonnet substantially agrees with Sabatier as does Karl Müller. Father Robinson, himself a Franciscan friar, pp. 25-31, 182, following the Quaracchi editors, who are Franciscans also, denies the genuineness of the Rule of 1221, and holds that there were only two Rules, and that there is no conflict between them. This conclusion is in the face of Francis’ will and the plain statement of Leo’s Legenda which, however, Robinson pays little attention to. This was the condition of affairs Francis found on his return from Syria. He accepted it and said to his brethren, "From henceforth I am dead for you. Here is brother Peter di Catana whom you and I will obey," and prostrating himself, he promised the man who had superseded him obedience and submission.808808    See Sabatier, S. François, p. 23. Peter of Catana died March 10, 1221, a year after his elevation.

This forced self-subordination of Francis offers one of the most touching spectacles of mediaeval biography. Francis had withheld himself from papal privileges. He had favored freedom of movement. The skilled hand of Ugolino substituted strict monastic obedience. Organization was to take the place of spontaneous devotion. Ugolino was, no doubt, Francis’ real as well as professed friend. He laid the foundation of the cathedral in Assisi to his honor, and canonized him two years after his death. But Francis’ spirit he did not appreciate. Francis was henceforth helpless to carry out his original ideas,809809    Almost everything done in the order after 1221 was done either "without Francis’ knowledge or against his, will and mind," are the words of Sabatier. S. François, p. 316.

These ideas are reaffirmed in Francis’ famous will. This document is one of the most affecting pieces in Christian literature. Here Francis calls himself "little brother," frater parvulus. All he had to leave the brothers was his benediction, the memory of the early days of the brotherhood, and counsels to abide by the first Rule. This Rule he had received from no human teacher. The Almighty God himself had revealed it unto him, that he ought to live according to the mode of the Holy Gospel. He reminded them how the first members loved to live in poor and abandoned churches. He bade them not accept churches or houses, except as it might be in accordance with the rule of holy poverty they had professed. He forbade their receiving bulls from the papal court, even for their personal protection. At the same time, he pledged his obedience to the minister-general and expressed his purpose to go nowhere and do nothing against his will "for he is my lord." Through the whole of the document there runs a chord of anguish.810810    For the Latin text of this remarkable writing see Speculum, 309-313. Sabatier gives a French trans., in his S. Francois, 389 sqq.

Francis’ heart was broken. Never strong, his last years were full of infirmities. Change of locality brought only temporary relief. The remedial measures of the physician, such as the age knew, were employed. An iron, heated to white heat, was applied to Francis’ forehead. Francis shrank at first, but submitted to the treatment, saying, "Brother Fire, you are beautiful above all creatures, be favorable to me in this hour." He jocosely called his body, Brother Ass.811811    This designation was not original with Francis. In the fourth century Hilarion called his body the ass which ought to have chaff and not barley. Schaff, Ch. Hist. III., 190. all bounds. They fought for fragments of his clothing, hairs from his head, and even the parings of his nails.

Two years before his death Francis composed the Canticle to the Sun, which Renan has called the most perfect expression of modern religious feeling.812812    Nouvelles Etudes d’hist. rel., 2d ed., Paris, 1844, pp. 333-35l. No reasonable doubt is possible that Francis was the author of the Canticle, now that the Speculum has been published (pp. 234 sqq., and Sabatier’s remarks, 278-288). in the records of his age, and puts him into companionship with that large modern company who see poems in the clouds and hear symphonies in flowers. He loved the trees, the stones, birds, and the plants of the field. Above all things he loved the sun, created to illuminate our eyes by day, and the fire which gives us light in the night time, for "God has illuminated our eyes by these two, our brothers."

Francis had a message for the brute creation and preached to the birds. "Brother birds," he said on one occasion, "you ought to love and praise your Creator very much. He has given you feathers for clothing, wings for flying, and all things that can be of use to you. You have neither to sow, nor to reap, and yet He takes care of you." And the birds curved their necks and looked at him as if to thank him. He would have had the emperor make a special law against killing or doing any injury to, our sisters, the birds."813813    Speculum, 223-226. See Longfellow’s poem, The Sermon of St. Francis.814814    Little Flowers of Francis, 93-99. Anthony of Padua, also a Franciscan, according to the same authority, pp. 166 sqq., preached to the fishes at Rimini and called upon them to praise God, seeing they had been preserved in the flood and saved Jonah. The fishes ascended above the water and opened their mouths and bowed their heads. The people of the city were attracted and Anthony used the occasion to preach a powerful sermon. In the legend of St. Brandon, it is narrated that when St. Brandon sang, the fishes lay as though they slept. Aurea Legenda, Temple Classics, vol. V.ple the taming of the fierce wolf of Gubbio. He was the terror of the neighborhood. He ran at Francis with open mouth, but laid himself down at Francis’ feet like a lamb at his words, "Brother Wolf, in the name of Jesus Christ, I command you to do no evil to me or to any man." Francis promised him forgiveness for all past offences on condition of his never doing harm again to human being. The beast assented to the compact by lowering his head and kneeling before him. He became the pet of Gubbio.

The last week of his life, the saint had repeated to him again and again the 142d Psalm, beginning with the words, "I cry with my voice unto Jehovah," and also his Canticle to the Sun. He called in brothers Angelo and Leo to sing to him about sister Death.815815    Speculum, p. 241.f Cortona, who had aided the Roman curia in setting aside Francis’ original Rule, remonstrated on the plea that the people would regard such hilarity in the hour of death as inconsistent with saintship. But Francis replied that he had been thinking of death for two years, and now he was so united with the Lord, that he might well be joyful in Him.816816    Quoniam, gratia Spiritus sancti cooperante, ita sum unitus et conjunctus cum Domino meo quod per misericordiam suam bene possum In ipso altissimo jocundari. Speculum, p. 237.817817    Mortem cantando suscepit. 2 Cel., 3, 139.ed so that once more his face might be towards Assisi. He could no longer see, but he could pray, and so he made a supplication to heaven for the city.818818    Speculum, 244 sq. Oct. 3, 1226, to use Brother Leo’s words, he "migrated to the Lord Jesus Christ whom he had loved with his whole heart, and followed most perfectly."

Before the coffin was closed, great honors began to be heaped upon the saintly man. The citizens of Assisi took possession of the body, and Francis’ name has become the chief attraction of the picturesque and somnolent old town. He was canonized two years later.819819    Potthast, 8236, 8240, vol. I. 709-710. the pontiff laid the corner stone of the new cathedral to Francis’ memory. It was dedicated by Innocent IV. in 1243, and Francis’ body was laid under the main altar.820820    There, after much searching, it is said to have been found, 1818. Plus VII., in 1822, declared it to be the genuine body of Francis.ern sculptor, Dupré, in front, represents the great mendicant in the garb of his order with arms crossed over his chest, and his head bowed. Francis was scarcely dead when Elias of Cortona made the astounding announcement of the stigmata. These were the marks which Francis is reported to have borne on his body, corresponding to the five wounds on Christ’s crucified body. In Francis’ case they were fleshy, but not bloody excrescences. The account is as follows. During a period of fasting and the most absorbed devotion, Christ appeared to Francis on the morning of the festival of the Holy Cross, in the rising sun in the form of a seraph with outstretched wings, nailed to the cross. The vision gone, Francis felt pains in his hands and side. He had received the stigmata. This occurred in 1224 on the Verna,821821    Sabatier gives a charming description of the region, showing his own intense sympathy with nature.

The historical evidence for the reality of these marks is as follows. It was the day after Francis’ death that Elias of Cortona, as vicar of the order, sent letters in all directions to the Franciscans, announcing the fact that he had seen the stigmata on Francis’ body. His letter contained these words: "Never has the world seen such a sign except on the Son of God. For a long time before his death, our brother had in his body five wounds which were truly the stigmata of Christ, for his hands and feet have marks as of nails, without and within, a kind of scars, while from his side, as if pierced by a lance, a little blood oozed." The Speculum Perfectionis, perhaps the first biography of Francis, refers to them incidentally, but distinctly, in the course of a description of the severe temptations by which Francis was beset.822822    p. 194. It is at first sight striking that the author does not give a detailed description of this wonderful event. From another standpoint the passing reference may be regarded as a stronger testimony to its reality. See Sabatier’s observations, Speculum, pp. lxvi. sqq. It will be remembered that Sabatier places this document in 1227, only seven months after Francis’ death. declares that a few saw them while Francis was still alive. Gregory IX. in 1237 called upon the whole Church to accept them, and condemned the Dominicans for calling their reality in question.823823    In three bulls, Potthast, 10307, 10308, 10309, vol. I. 875.e marks.

On the other hand, a very strong argument against their genuineness is the omission of all reference to them by Gregory IX. in his bull canonizing Francis, 1228. Francis’ claim to saintship, we would think, could have had no better authentication, and the omission is inexplicable.824824    The evidence for the genuineness is accepted by Sabatier, S. François, 401 sqq. Among other testimonies he adduces a Benediction upon Leo ostensibly written by Francis’ own hand, and found among the archives of Assisi. See Speculum, p. lxvii. sq. On the margin of this document Leo has written his authentication. He vouches for the scene on the Verna and the stigmata. If this document be genuine, as Sabatier insists, it is the most weighty of all the testimonies. Hase stated, as strongly as it can be stated, the view that the whole tale was a fraud, invented by Elias, Francis of Assisi, 143-202, and Kirchengeschichte, II. 385 sqq. Elias was the only eye-witness, and it is contrary to all laws that he should have denied the people the privilege of looking at the marks, after the saint was dead, if they had really been there. On the contrary, he hurried the body to the grave. Hase makes a strong case, but it must be remembered that he wrote without having before him the later evidence brought to light by Sabatier

Three explanations have been given of the stigmata on the supposition that Francis’ body really bore the scars. 1. They were due to supernatural miracle. This is the Catholic view. In 1304 Benedict XI. established a festival of the stigmata. 2. They were the product of a highly wrought mental state proceeding from the contemplation of Christ on the cross. This is the view of Sabatier.825825    S. François, 401 sqq. Sabatier does not regard them as miraculous but as unusual, as, for example, are the mathematical powers and musical genius of youthful prodigies. According to Hase, this was also Tholuck’s explanation. See art. Stigmatization, in Herzog, XIV. 728-734, which takes the same view and compares the scars to the effects of parental states before childbirth. who from a desire to feel all the pains Christ felt, picked the marks with his own fingers.826826    So Hausrath. The first Franciscan chronicler, Salimbene, d. 1287, no doubt expressed the feeling of his age when he said, "Never man on earth but Francis has had the five wounds of Christ." The Dominicans claimed the stigmata for St. Catherine of Siena, but Sixtus IV., in 1475, prohibited her being represented with them. them. On the other hand, the historical attestation is such that an effort is required to deny them. So far as we know, Francis never used the stigmata to attest his mission.827827    Bonaventura’s legendary Life makes Francis a witness to the stigmata, but he evidently is seeking to establish the fact against doubts.

The study of the career of Francis d’Assisi, as told by his contemporaries, and as his spirit is revealed in his own last testament, makes the impression of purity of purpose and humility of spirit,—of genuine saintliness. He sought not positions of honor nor a place with the great. With simple mind, he sought to serve his fellow-men by republishing the precepts of the Gospel, and living them out in his own example. He sought once more to give the Gospel to the common people, and the common people heard him gladly. He may not have possessed great strength of intellect. He lacked the gifts of the ecclesiastical diplomat, but he certainly possessed glowing fervor of heart and a magnetic personality, due to consuming love for men. He was not a theological thinker, but he was a man of practical religious sympathies to which his deeds corresponded. He spoke and acted as one who feels full confidence in his divinely appointed mission.828828    In his will he refers again and again to his divine appointment Deus mihi dedit, "God has given to me."

Few men of history have made so profound an impression as did Francis. His personality shed light far and near in his own time. But his mission extends to all the centuries. He was not a foreigner in his own age by any protest in matters of ritual or dogma, but he is at home in all ages by reason of his Apostolic simplicity and his artless gentleness. Our admiration for him turns not to devotion as for a perfect model of the ideal life. Francis’ piety, after all, has a mediaeval glow. But, so far as we can know, he stands well among those of all time who have discerned the meaning of Christ’s words and breathed His spirit. So Harnack can call him the "wonderful saint of Assisi," and Sabatier utter the lofty praise, that it was given to him to divine the superiority of the spiritual priesthood."829829    Monasticism, Engl. trans., p. 67, and S. François, p. viii.


The Canticle of The Sun


O most high, almighty, good Lord God, to Thee belong praise, glory, honor, and all blessing!

Praised be my Lord God with all His creatures, and specially our brother the sun, who brings us the day and who brings us the light; fair is he and shines with a very great splendor: O Lord he signifies to us Thee!

Praised be my Lord for our sister the moon, and for the stars, the which He has set clear and lovely in heaven.

Praised be my Lord for our brother the wind and for air and cloud, calms and all weather by the which Thou upholdest life in all creatures.

Praised be my Lord for our sister water, who is very serviceable unto us and humble and precious and clean.

Praised be my Lord for our brother fire, through whom Thou givest us light in the darkness; and he is bright and pleasant and very mighty and strong.

Praised be my Lord for our mother the earth, the which doth sustain us and keep us, and bringeth forth divers fruits and flowers of many colors, and grass.

Praised be my Lord for all those who pardon one another for His love’s sake, and who endure weakness and tribulation; blessed are they who peaceably shall endure, for Thou, O most Highest, shalt give them a crown.

Praised be my Lord for our sister, the death of the body, from which no man escapeth. Woe to him who dieth in mortal sin! Blessed are they who are found walking by the most holy will, for the second death shall have no power to do them harm.

Praise ye and bless the Lord, and give thanks unto Him and serve Him with great humility.830830    The version of Matthew Arnold, Essays in Criticism, 1st series. A recent translation is given in Robinson; the Writings of St. Francis, pp. 150 sqq., by the Franciscan, Stephen Donovan. Böhmer, p. 65, gives the Latin text.




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