Psalm I

 

 

 

St. Francis chose the last letter of the Hebrew Alphabet as his icon
St. Francis chose the last letter of the Hebrew Alphabet as his icon

 

 

 

Antiphon:

  

 

Holy Virgin Mary, there is none like you among women.

 You are the daughter and the handmaid of the Most High King-Our Heavenly Father.

 You are the Most Holy Mother of our Lord, Jesus Christ.

You are the Spouse of the Holy Spirit.

  Pray for us with St Michael the Archangel, and all the Virtues of Heaven, and all the Saints, to your most Holy and Beloved Son, Our Lord and Master.

Each Office was to begin and end with this Antiphon

Psalm 1

Compline

1.     God, I have declared my life to You, and You have placed my tears where You can see them; all my enemies were plotting against me – they consorted together to make their plans.

2.     They put evil against me in Your place, and returned me hatred for my love.

3.     For reasons that they should have loved me, they have dragged me down, but I kept on praying.

4.     O my Holy Father, King of Heaven and Earth, do not let Your help be far from me, for trouble is very near to me, and there is no one to help me.

5.     May my enemies turn back from me, and on the day I call on you, may I always have known that You are my God.

6.     My friends and my neighbours came against me and stood there.

7.     And my acquaintances came from afar and joined them there.

8.     You have distanced me from my friends, and they have set me up as an abomination to them.

9.     I have been betrayed, and made unable to go out.

10.  Holy Father, do not let Your help be far from me.

11.  My God, look down upon me and help me.

12.  Turn to me and help me, Lord God of my salvation.

13.  Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, as it was in the beginning, is now, and shall be forever and ever. Amen.

Antiphon:

 Holy Virgin Mary, there is none like you among women.

  You are the daughter and the handmaid of the Most High King-Our Heavenly Father.

  You are the Most Holy Mother of our Lord, Jesus Christ.

 You are the Spouse of the Holy Spirit.

  Pray for us with St Michael the Archangel, and all the Virtues of Heaven, and all the Saints, to your most Holy and Beloved Son, Our Lord and Master.

 Comment:

Psalm I is the Psalm set for Compline of Holy Thursday, the first office of the holy Triduum.
Though not as obvious as most of his other Psalm to find its locus, it has to be Gethsemane because of its placement after the Last Supper.
As believers we know a life of Christ wherein he gave everything of himself to the world in the so that we might believe in him and that he might save us from our sins.
Here is God, in the garden, as Son, praying to the Father
What we read is a glissade of betrayal that tells us that when it has come to it that in certain circumstances all friends are fair weather friends and family does not want to know us when the ultimate crisis is reached.
“. O my Holy Father, King of Heaven and Earth, do not let Your help be far from me, for trouble is very near to me, and there is no one to help me.
5. May my enemies turn back from me, and on the day I call on you, may I always have known that You are my God.”
He prays to the Father to be nearby when trouble comes and that when he calls out in need that he may have always known that ‘You are my God’.
Why would the Son have forgotten the Father, yet we do recall the Child Jesus at the age of 12 acknowledging that He must be about his Fathers business, that there did come a time when the Incarnate one realised his position in the Holy Trinity.
“You have distanced me from my friends, and they have set me up as an abomination to them.”
Jesus had left the upper room with 11 friends and 1 traitor and by this time had been betrayed and forsaken by everyone except for Peter and John and they trailed behind.

Psalm 2 

 

Great Doxology in Arabic

 

Day 25. Admonition 22

 Of the Frivolous and Talkative Religious.

Blessed is that servant who does not speak through the hope of receiving a reward.  Who does not know everything, and who is not “hasty to speak,”, but who wisely sees what they should say and answer.

Woe to that religious, who does not conceal in their heart, the good things which the Lord has disclosed to them.  Who does not show them to others by the work they do, but rather seeks a reward by telling others about them.  These religious have already received their recompense, and their hearers take away little fruit.

Blessed is the one who doesn’t waste words by showing all they know, but who speaks no more than the Spirit leads them to speak.

Those who won’t work – still hope for rewards when they boast, of their knowledge, to others.

James 2:18 NASB (©1995)

But someone may well say, “You have faith and I have works; show me your faith without the works, and I will show you my faith by my works.”

Psalm V Sext

 

St. Francis chose the last letter of the Hebrew Alphabet as his icon

St. Francis chose the last letter of the Hebrew Alphabet as his icon

 

 

 

 

  

 

 

Psalm V

 

Sext

 

Ps 141:2

 

1.       With all my voice I have cried to the Lord with all my voice I have entreated Him;

Jesus pleads with his Father for all He is worth

Ps 141:3

 2.       I pour out my prayers in His sight and I give voice to my troubles before Him..

Before His father’s eyes,  Jesus pours out all his troubles

. Ps 141:4

 

 When my spirit faints within me, You have known my path.

Even beyond consciousness he knows that his father knows 

Ps.141:5.

 3. On the way that I was walking, proud men had hidden a snare for me.

How the proud sought to trap him 

4. I looked on my right and I saw-there was no one who knew me.

 That there was no one to speak for him

5. I could not flee, and there was nobody to look after my soul.

Jesus was snared without any spiritual guide

Ps.68: 8

6. It is for You I have endured reproach, and shame has covered my face.

Jesus came to us to do his Father’s work  to be berated and ashamed

Ps.68: 9.

7. I have become an outsider to my brothers, and a stranger to my mother’s sons.

Aren’t the two the same? Doubly alienated, Jesus is abandoned by his

family  for them, for us and for his Father

Ps.68:10.

8. O my Father, zeal for Your House has eaten into me, and the reproaches of those who reproach You have fallen on me.

 He has borne all the criticism and blame anyone could

think of leveling at God – because Jesus was a zealot for

the Temple

Ps.34:15.

9. And they have come against me rejoicing, plying their whips over my innocent head.

 Whereas he took to the money changers in the Temple with

whips they now come at him – yet he is innocent.

Ps.68: 5.

10. Those who hate me for no reason are more than the hairs of my head; my enemies who persecuted me without cause have been comforted and I unloosed those whom I did not plunder.

 Those who hate him without reason are those for whom he dies, his enemies had no reason, save one of their own – the status quo- to keep the roman

Peace between the Religious Powers and the Roman Overlords.

Jesus forgave them all even those he did not rob? An irony as if Jesus

ever plundered anyone!

Ps.34:11.

 11. Evil witnesses who did not know me got up and questioned me.

False witnessess stood before Pontius Pilate and lied 

Ps.34:12.

 12. They repaid me evil for good,

 

Ps.37:21.

 

and dragged me down for following the right path.

Whether Jesus knew these witnesses or not they

perjured themselves to ensure the desired outcome

Ps.37:23.

13. You are my most Holy Father-my King and my God.

14. Turn to me and to my aid, Lord God of my salvation.

 

 

 

Psalm references from, Library of Liberty: The Writings of Saint Francis of Assisi Translation of Psalms by Pia Fuggacia 2006Online

 

 

 

Posthumous Miracles

In Christ’s name here begin the miracles of our most holy father Francis.

126. Then the blessed Pope cried with a loud voice and said, raising his hands to heaven, “To the praise and glory of Almighty God the Father, Son and Holy Ghost, and of the glorious Virgin Mary, and of the blessed Apostles Peter and Paul, and to the honor of the glorious Church of Rome, by the counsel of our brethren and the other prelates we decree, revering on earth the most blessed father Francis whom the Lord hath glorified in heaven, that he be numbered in the roll of saints, and that his festival be kept on the day of his death.” And on this, the reverend Cardinals with the Lord Pope began to chant with loud voice “Te Deum Laudamus”74

Then was raised a shout of many people praising God, the earth rang with the mighty sound, the air was filled with jubilations, and the ground was moistened with tears. New songs were sung, and God’s servants rejoiced in melody of the spirit. Sweet toned organs were heard, and spiritual songs were sung by harmonious voices. Sweet perfume was there shed around, and jocund melody stirred the emotions of all. Brightly gleamed that day, which was tinted with more radiant beams. There the olive-boughs were green, and the other trees were decked in their fresh foliage; there all were adorned with festive attire of dazzling brightness and the blessing of peace rejoiced the minds of the throng. At length the happy Pope Gregory came down from his lofty throne, and by the steps beneath entered the sanctuary to offer vows and sacrifices, and with happy lips he kissed the tomb containing the body sacred and consecrated to God. He offered many prayers and celebrated the Sacred Mysteries. A crowd of brethren stood about him praising, worshiping and blessing Almighty God who has done great things in all lands. All the people magnified God’s praises, and paid the due of holy thanksgiving to St. Francis in honor of the Trinity Most High. Amen. These things were done in the city of Assisi on 16th July, in the second year of the pontificate of Pope Gregory IX. [A.D. 1228.] [Posthumous Miracles] In Christ’s name here begin the miracles of our most holy father Francis.

Of the healing of the crooked

127. Humbly imploring the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, we will, in order to arouse and promote the devotion of the men of this time, and to strengthen the faith of those that are to come, set down briefly but truly, under the guidance of Christ, the miracles which (as has been said) were read before the Lord Pope Gregory, and proclaimed to the people. Of the healing of the crooked On the day that the hallowed and holy body of the most blessed father Francis was put away, like a most precious treasure, having been anointed rather with super-celestial aromas than with earthly spices, a girl was brought whose neck had for a year past been monstrously bent so that her head was joined to the shoulder, and she could only look up sideways. But after placing her head for some time under the coffin wherein the precious body of the Saint lay, forthwith she raised up her neck, through the most holy man’s merits, and her head was restored to its proper position so that the girl was astounded at the sudden change in herself and began to run away, weeping excessively. Now in the shoulder to which her head had been fastened a pit was seen caused by the position which the long illness had brought about. 128. There was in the territory of Narni a boy whose leg was so bent back that he could only walk by the help of two sticks. He was a beggar, and after having been oppressed with this grievous infirmity for several years he did not know his own father and mother. But by the merits of our most blessed father Francis he was delivered from the said trial in such wise that he could go freely anywhere without the support of sticks, praising and blessing God and His Saint. 129. One Nicholas, a citizen of Foligno had his left leg drawn together, and, as he suffered excessive pain, he spent so much on doctors in order to recover his former health that he incurred debts against his will which were beyond his power to repay. At last, when their help had done him no good, and he was suffering such agony that his frequent screams prevented his neighbors from sleeping at night, he made vows to God and St. Francis and had himself carried to St. Francis’; tomb; and, after passing a night before it in prayer, he stretched his leg out and joyfully returned without any stick to his own home.

130. Another boy with one leg so bent that the knee adhered to his breast and the heel to his buttocks came to the sepulcher of blessed Francis. His father was mortifying his own flesh with sackcloth and his mother sorely afflicting herself for his sake. Suddenly the boy recovered his health so perfectly that he was able to run about the streets sound and merry, giving thanks to God and St. Francis. 131. In the city of Fano there was a man so bent that his legs, which were full of ulcers, adhered to his buttocks and gave off such a stench that the attendants altogether refused to admit him to the hospital or to keep him there. But before long he rejoiced in being delivered by the merits of the most blessed father Francis, whose compassion he had implored.

132. There was a little girl of Gubbio whose hands were contracted and she had wholly lost the use of all her limbs for a year past. In order to obtain for her the favor of health, her nurse carried her with a waxen image to the tomb of the most blessed father Francis. And after staying there for the space of eight days, one day all her limbs were completely restored to their uses, so as to be fit as usual for their original functions.

133. Another boy from Montenero lay before the doors of the church where the body of St. Francis rests, for several days, being unable to walk or to sit up, for from the waist down he was deprived of all strength and of the use of his limbs. But one day, having been brought into the church, after touching, the sepulcher of the most blessed father Francis he came out sound and whole. And the little boy himself used to say that while he was lying before the tomb of the glorious saint, a young man stood before him over the tomb, clad in the habit of the brethren and carrying pears in his hands, who called him, offered him a pear, and encouraged him to rise. The boy took the pear from his hands and answered, “See, I am bound together and cannot get up at all.” Then he ate the pear that had been given him and stretched out his hand for another, which the same youth was offering him. Again he urged the boy to get up, but he did not do so, feeling himself held down by his infirmity. But as he was stretching his hand out for the pear, the young man after giving him the pear took his hand, led him out, and disappeared from his sight. The boy, seeing that he was made whole, began to cry aloud, showing to all what had been done in him.

134. A woman from the fortress of Coccorano was brought in a basket to the glorious father’s tomb, for she had lost the use of all her members except her tongue. After staying a while before the most holy man’s tomb she arose perfectly cured. Another citizen of Gubbio after bringing his son, who was bowed together, in a basket to the holy father’s tomb, received him back sound and whole, though he had been bowed in so extraordinary a way that his legs adhered to the buttocks and were quite withered. 135. Bartholomew of the city of Narni, a very poor and needy man, once fell asleep under a walnut tree, and when he awoke he found himself so bent that he could not walk. As the infirmity gradually increased, one leg and foot became emaciated, crooked and withered; and insensible to cutting and burning. But the most holy Francis, the true lover of the poor and father of all the needy, showed himself to this man one night in a vision, bidding him go to a certain bath where he, moved by compassion for such misery, would release him from this sickness. When the man awoke, not knowing what to do, he told the vision in order to the bishop, and the bishop signed him with the Cross and blessed him, bidding him hasten to the bath that had been ordered. So the man, leaning on a stick, began to drag himself to the place as well as he could: and as he was sorrowfully going along, worn out by the great labor, he heard a voice saying to him, “Go in the peace of the Lord, for I am he to whom you have made your vow.” Then as he was approaching the bath, he missed the way (for it was night) and again heard a voice telling him that he was not walking by the right way, and directing him to the bath. And when he had reached the place and had entered the bath he felt one hand laid upon his foot, and another on his leg, gently stretching it out: and so, being cured straightway, he jumped out of the bath praising and blessing the omnipotence of the Creator, and blessed Francis His servant, who had bestowed on him such favor and power. The man had been crooked, and a beggar, for six years, and was of advanced age.

Of the blind receiving sight

136. A woman named Sibyl who had suffered from blindness of the eyes for several years was brought sorrowing to the sepulcher of the man of God: but on recovering her former sight she returned home rejoicing and exultant. A blind man of Spello recovered his long-lost sight before the tomb of the holy body. Another woman of Camerino had been entirely deprived of the light of her right eye. Her parents laid on the eye a cloth that blessed Francis had touched, and so, having made a vow they yielded thanks to the Lord God and St. Francis for the recovered light. Something similar happened to a woman of Gubbio, who, after making a vow, rejoiced in the recovery of her former sight. A citizen of Assisi who had lost the light of his eyes for five years, having been intimate with blessed Francis while he lived, always in praying to the blessed man used to recall this intimacy, and, on touching his sepulcher was healed. One Albertino of Narni had wholly lost the sight of his eyes for about a year and his eyelids hung down to his cheeks. He made a vow to blessed Francis, and forthwith having recovered his sight, made ready, and went to visit his glorious sepulcher.

74[An old hymn of the church. For the words, click here.]

Of the healing of demoniacs

137. There was a man in the city of Foligno named Peter who when on his way to visit the threshold of blessed Michael the Archangel,75 either in fulfillment of a vow, or as a penance enjoined on him for sins, came to a certain spring. Being wearied with the journey and thirsty he tasted some of the water of the spring, and it seemed to him that he had imbibed devils: and so, being molested by them, during three years he did things horrid to see and detestable to tell. Then he came to the most holy father’s tomb, and here, while the devils were raging, and cruelly mauling him, he was wondrously delivered on touching the sepulcher, by a clear and manifest miracle.

138. In the city of Narni was a woman who was a prey to terrible frenzy, and being out of her mind, did horrible things and spoke unseemly words. At length blessed Francis appeared to her in a vision, saying, “Sign yourself with the cross,” and on her answering, “I cannot,” the Saint himself impressed the sign of the cross upon her and drove her madness out of her and also her demoniacal fancies. Many men and women also, tormented in various ways by devils, and deluded by their jugglery were snatched out of their power by the noble merits of the holy and glorious father. But because people of that kind are often the victims of delusion, let us dismiss this matter briefly and pass on to more important things.

Of sick persons saved from death; of cases of swelling, dropsy, arthritis, paralysis and other diseases.

139. A boy named Matthew, of the city of Todi, had lain in bed for eight days as if dead: his mouth was fast closed, his eyes were sightless, and the skin of his face, hands and feet had turned as black as a pot. All despaired of his life, but at his mother’s vow he got well with marvelous rapidity. Now there was a discharge of foul blood from his mouth, through which he was also believed to be discharging his intestines. But as soon as his mother on her knees had humbly called on the name of St. Francis, as she arose from prayer, the boy began to open his eyes, to see the light and to suck the breast; and soon after the black slough fell off, the flesh returned as before, he got better, and recovered his strength. And as soon as he began to get better his mother asked him, “Who has delivered you, my son?” And he answered lisping, “Ciccu, Ciccu.” Again he was asked, “Whose servant are you?” and again he answered, “Ciccu, Ciccu,” for being an infant he could not speak plain, and so he clipped the name of blessed Francis in that way.

140. There was a lad who fell down from a certain very high place where he was staying and lost his speech and the use of all his limbs. After being three days without eating or drinking, or perceiving anything, he was thought to be dead. But his mother, seeking for the aid of no physicians, entreated blessed Francis to heal him. And so, having made her vow, she received him alive and whole, and began to praise the Savior’s omnipotence. Another lad named Mancino, sick unto death, and given over by all, called, as well as he could, on the name of blessed Francis and instantly recovered. A boy of Arezzo named Walter, suffering from continual fever and tormented by two abscesses, who had been given over by the doctors, was restored to his wished-for health by his parents’ making a vow to blessed Francis. Another, nigh to death, was forthwith freed from all his suffering by making a waxen image, and that before the image was finished.

141. A woman who had lain on her sick-bed for several years and could neither turn nor move, made a vow to God and blessed Francis, whereupon she was freed from all her sickness and performed the necessary duties of her life. There was a woman in the city of Narni who for eight years had had a hand so withered that she could do nothing with it. At last the most blessed father Francis appeared to her in a vision, and by stretching out her hand made it as serviceable as the other. In the same city was a lad who for ten years had been laid up with a grievous- sickness, and had become so swollen that no medicine could do him good. But by the merits of blessed Francis, to whom his mother had made a vow, he immediately received the blessing of health. In the city of Fano was a man laid up with dropsy whose limbs were horribly swollen, but through blessed Francis, he was found worthy to be wholly freed from that sickness. A citizen of Todi suffered so terribly from gouty arthritis that he could neither sit down nor rest. The violence of the disease gave him such constant chills that he seemed reduced to nothing. He called in doctors, he multiplied baths, he used many medicines, but none of these things could give him relief. But one day, in the presence of a priest, he made a vow in order that St. Francis might give him back his former health : and so, after offering prayers to the Saint, he presently found his former health restored.

142. A woman lying paralyzed in the city of Gubbio was released from her infirmity and cured after thrice calling on the name of blessed Francis. There was a man called Bontadoso who suffered so grievously in his hands and feet that he could neither move nor turn in any direction: and when he was now unable to eat or sleep a woman came to him one day advising and suggesting that if he would be speedily delivered from this infirmity he should most earnestly make a vow to blessed Francis. But the man, in paroxysm of pain, answered, “I don’t believe he is a Saint.” The woman, however, persisted in her suggestion of the vow, and at last he made it in the following words, “I vow myself to St. Francis, and believe him to be a Saint, if he cures me of this illness within three days.” And, by the merits of God’s Saint he was presently delivered and walked, ate, and slept, giving glory to Almighty God.

143. There was a man who had been dangerously wounded in the head by an iron arrow which had penetrated the eye-socket and stuck in his head; and the doctors could give him no help. Then with humble devotion he made a vow to Francis the Saint of God, in the hope of being delivered by his recommendation. While he was getting a little rest in sleep, St. Francis told him in a dream to have the arrow taken out by the back of his head. This was accordingly done next day, and he was relieved without great difficulty.

144. There was a man at the fortress of Spello named Imperatore who had suffered so severely from rupture for two years that all his intestines were descending outwardly through his lower parts; nor had he been able to place them back inside for a long time so that he had to have a truss wherewith to retain them inside. He went to doctors, begging them to relieve him, but as they demanded a price which he could not give inasmuch as he had not wherewithal to keep himself for a single day, he quite despaired of their help. At length he betook him to God for help, and began humbly to invoke the merits of blessed Francis, out of doors, at home, and wherever he might be. And so it came to pass that in a short space of time he was entirely cured by God’s grace and blessed Francis’; merits.

145. A brother in the March of Ancona, warring under the obedience of our Religion, was suffering severely from fistula in the groin, or in the side, and had already been judged by the doctors to be in a hopeless state because of the extent of the disease. Then he begged the Minister under whose obedience he was living to allow him to go and visit the place where the most blessed father’s body lay, trusting that by the Saint’s merits he would obtain the favor of a cure. But his Minister forbade him to go, fearing that the fatigue of the journey might make him worse, on account of the snow and rain which then prevailed. But one night, while the brother was feeling a little vexed at the refusal of permission to go, the holy father Francis stood by him saying: “Son, be no more anxious about this, but take off the fur coat you have on, throw away the plaster and the bandage that is over it, and observe your Rule, and you shall be delivered.” So he arose in the morning, did all that he had been bidden to do, and gave thanks to God for his speedy deliverance.

Of the cleansing of lepers

146. At St. Severino in the March of Ancona there was a lad named Atto who was covered all over with scabs, and, in accordance with the physicians’ judgment, was held by all as a leper: all his limbs were swollen and enlarged, and the distention and inflation of his veins caused him to see everything awry. He could not walk, but lay continually on his sick-bed, filling his parents with grief and sadness: and the father, daily wounded as he was by his son’s misery, could not tell what to do with him. At last it came into his heart by all means to commend his son to blessed Francis, and he said to him: “Will you, my son, make a vow to St. Francis (who is renowned for many miracles everywhere), that it may please him to deliver you from this sickness?” And he answered, “I will, father.” Thereupon his father had paper brought and, after measuring his son’s height and girth, said, “Raise yourself up, my son, and make your vow to blessed Francis, and when he has given you deliverance you shall bring him a candle of your height every year while you live.” He rose up as well as he could, at his father’s bidding, and clasping his hands began humbly to invoke St. Francis’; compassion; and accordingly after he had taken up the paper measure, and finished his prayer, he was straightway healed of his leprosy, and arose, giving glory to God, and blessed Francis, and joyfully began to walk. In the city of Fano a lad named Bonuomo, who was held by all the doctors to be paralyzed and leprous, was devoutly offered to blessed Francis by his parents; whereupon he was cleansed from his leprosy, the paralysis left him, and he gained full health. Of the dumb speaking and the deaf hearing

147. At Castel della Pieve was a poor beggar-boy who had been entirely deaf and dumb from birth. Now his tongue was so extremely short that it seemed to several who had examined him many times as if it had been cut off. One evening he came to the house of a man of the same place who was called Mark and asked for shelter by signs, as the dumb are wont to do, for he leaned his head sideways on his hand so as to make the man understand that he wanted to lodge with him that night. The man gladly received him into his house and willingly kept him with him, for the boy was a competent servant. He was a sharp boy, for though deaf and dumb from the cradle he understood by signs all he was told to do. When the man and his wife were at supper one night and the boy was waiting on them, the man said to her, “I should consider it the greatest of miracles, if blessed Frances gave hearing and speech to this boy.”

148. And he added, “I vow to the Lord God that if blessed Francis shall deign work this, I will for his sake hold this boy most dear and provide for him all his life long.” When the vow was finished, wondrous to relate, the boy spoke straightway and said, “S. Francis lives,” and then looking behind him, he said, “I see St. Francis standing up there and he is coming to give me speech.” And he added, “What therefore shall I say to the people?” Mark replied, “You shall praise the Lord and shall save many men.” Then Mark arose in great joy and exultation and published before all men what had been done. All who had seen the boy speechless before ran together, and, filled with admiration and amazement, gave humble praise to God and blessed Francis. The boy’s tongue grew and became fit for speech, and he began to utter properly formed words as if he had always spoken.

149. Another boy named Villa could neither speak nor walk. His mother therefore made in faith a waxen image for a votive offering and brought it very reverently to the blessed father Francis’; resting-place, and on her return home she found her son walking and talking. There was a man in the diocese of Perugia quite deprived of speech who always kept his mouth open, gaping horribly and in great distress, for his throat was very much swollen. When he reached the place where the most holy body rests and was about to go up the steps to the tomb, he vomited much blood, and, thoroughly relieved, began to speak and to open and shut his mouth as required.

150. There was a woman who suffered such pain in her throat that from the excessive burning her tongue was sticking to her palate and dried up. She could neither speak, nor eat, nor drink; plasters were applied and medicines used, but none of these things gave any relief from her infirmity. At last in her heart (for she could not speak) she made a vow to St. Francis, and suddenly the flesh cracked and there came out of her gullet a little round stone which she took in her hand and showed to all the bystanders, whereupon she was relieved immediately. There was a lad at the fortress of Greccio who had lost his hearing, his memory, and his speech, nor could he understand or perceive anything. But his parents, having great trust in St. Francis, made a vow to him with humble devotion on behalf of the lad; and when the vow had been fulfilled he was richly endowed by the favor of the most holy and glorious father Francis with all the senses he had lacked. To the praise, glory, and honor of Jesus Christ our Lord whose kingdom and empire endureth firm and immovable throughout all ages. Amen.

 

Conclusion

151. We have said a little, and omitted more concerning the miracles of our most blessed father Francis, relinquishing to those that would tread in his footsteps the care of seeking out the grace of new blessing, to the end that he who by word and example, by his life and teaching has most gloriously renewed the whole world may ever deign to water with new showers of super-celestial unctions the minds of those who love the name of the Lord. I entreat, for the love of the Poor Man Crucified and by His sacred wounds, which the blessed father Francis bore in his body, all who read, see, or hear these things, to remember before God, me a sinner. Amen. Blessing and honor and all praise be to God only wise Who ever most wisely worketh all in all to His glory. Amen. Amen. Amen.

75I.e., Monte Santangelo in Apulia.

Canonization Proceedings

 Canonization Proceedings

The Roman Pontiff, the highest of all pontiffs, the leader of Christians, the lord of the world, the shepherd of the Church, the Anointed of the Lord, the Vicar of Christ, heard and understood these things. He rejoiced and exulted, he was in transports of gladness when he beheld the renewal of the Church of God in his own times by new mysteries but by ancient wonders, and that in the person of his own son whom he bore in his sacred womb, cherished in his bosom, suckled with the word, and nurtured with the food of salvation. The other guardians of the Church heard it too, the shepherds of the flock, the defenders of the faith, the friends of the Bridegroom, they who are at his side, the hinges (cardines) of the world, the venerable Cardinals. They congratulated the Church, they rejoiced with the Pope, they glorified the Savior, Who with supreme and ineffable wisdom, supreme and incomprehensible grace, supreme and inestimable goodness, chose the foolish and base things of the world that so He might draw the mighty to Himself. The whole world heard and applauded, and the universal monarchy in obedience to the Catholic Faith abounded in joy and overflowed with holy consolation.

122. But there came a sudden change, and meantime a fresh emergency arose in the world. Forthwith the pleasantness of peace was disturbed; the touch of envy blazed up; the Church was torn by intestinal war in her own household. The Romans, a fierce and seditious race of men, raged, as they are wont, against their neighbors, and rashly put forth their hand against holy things. The noble Pope Gregory strove to keep down the rising wickedness, to repress the fierceness, to moderate the violence; and, like a tower of strength protected the Church of Christ. Many perils burst upon her; destruction increased; and in the rest of the world sinners lifted up their necks against God. What then did the Pope do? Estimating the future by his ripe experience, and weighing the present, he left the City to the rebels, that he might deliver and defend the world from rebellion. So he went to the city of Rieti where he was received with the honor due to him: and proceeding thence to Spoleto he was honored with great respect by all. Here he remained for a few days, and then, after taking order for the Church, paid a kind visit, accompanied by the venerable Cardinals, to the Handmaids of Christ, dead and buried to the world. The holy conversation and the deep poverty of these Ladies and their renowned way of life moved him and the others to tears, urged them to despise the world, and kindled them to embrace a life of retirement. O lovely Humility! nurse of all graces! The Prince of the world, the successor of the Prince of the Apostles, visits poor lowly women, comes to them in their seclusion, despised and humble as they are! An example of humility which though worthy of just approbation was unwonted, and had not been met with for many ages past.

123. And now he flies in haste to Assisi, where the glorious deposit is preserved for him, to the end that thereby the universal suffering and approaching tribulation may be driven away. At his entry the whole region is jubilant, the city is filled with exultation, a great crowd of people celebrate their joy, and the bright day is made still brighter by new luminaries. Every one came forth to, meet him, and a solemn vigil was kept by all. The pious fellowship of the Poor Brethren came out to meet him, and each one sang sweet hymns to Christ the Lord. The Vicar of Christ arrived at the “place” and as he alighted, greeted St. Francis’; sepulcher with eager reverence. He heaved many sighs, smote his breast, shed tears, and, in still more abundant devotion, bowed his reverend head. Meantime solemn conference was held touching the Saint’s canonization, and the noble assembly of the Cardinals was often called together about this business. Many came together from all parts who had been delivered from their plagues through God’s Saint, and from every side there was a great blaze of miracles. These were listened to, received, verified, and approved.

Meantime pressing affairs, a fresh emergency, compelled the blessed Pope to go to Perugia, whence (a superabundant and unparalleled favor) he purposed to return to Assisi for the supreme business. Finally there was another meeting at Perugia, and the sacred assembly of the venerable Cardinals was held in the Lord Pope’s chamber about this matter. All were unanimous, and said the same thing. They read the miracles with the utmost reverence, and extolled the blessed father’s life and conversation with the loudest encomiums.

124. “No need,” said they, “for miracles to attest the most holy man’s most holy life, which we have seen with our eyes, handled with our hands and proved under the teaching of truth.” They were all transported with joy, they were glad, they wept, and truly in those tears was much blessing. Forthwith they appointed the blessed day whereon they should fill all the world with saving joy.

The solemn day, to be held in reverence by every age, arrived shedding sublime rapture not only on earth but even in the purlieus of heaven. Bishops were called together, abbots arrived, and prelates of the Church from the remotest parts were there; royalty was present, and a noble multitude of counts and magnates assembled. They all escorted the lord of all the world and with him entered the city of Assisi with auspicious pomp. They reached the place prepared for the solemn event and the whole company of glorious Cardinals, bishops and abbots gathered round the blessed Pope. An extraordinary concourse of priests and clerks was there, there was the happy and sacred company of Religious, there the more bashful habit of the sacred veil, there a mighty throng of all peoples and a well-nigh countless multitude of either sex. They ran together from every quarter, and every age with the utmost eagerness was represented in that great assembly. Small and great were there, slave and he who was free from his lord.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

73Riniero Capocci, a friend of St. Dominic and a supporter of his Order. [The Dominicans similarly lived lives of poverty, but the order was an order of priests, and it was also explicitly a missionary order aimed at extirpating heresy from its inception. The order formally came into being in 1217.]

 

 

 

 

125. The Supreme Pontiff is there, the Bridegroom of Christ’s Church, surrounded by such various offspring, with a crown of glory on his head in manifest token of sanctity. He is there adorned with a pontifical chasuble, and clad with the holy garments bound with gold and ornamented with the work of the carver in precious stones. The Lord’s Anointed is there resplendent in glorious magnificence; covered with engraved jewels shining with the radiance of spring he invites the gaze of all. The Cardinals and bishops surround him; decked with splendid necklaces and flashing with garments white as snow they exhibit the image of super-celestial beauties and represent the joy of the glorified. The whole people await the voice of joy, the voice of gladness, the new voice, the voice full of all sweetness, the voice of praise, the voice of perpetual blessing. First of all Pope Gregory preached to all the people and with honey-sweet affection proclaimed God’s praises with sonorous voice. Then he uttered a noble panegyric of father Francis, and as he recalled and rehearsed the purity of his life he was altogether bathed in tears. The text of his sermon was this: “As the morning star amid vapor, as the moon in the days of her fullness, and as the sun in his brightness, so did he shine in the temple of God” [Ecclesiasticus 1:6,7]. And when the discourse, faithful and worthy of all acceptance, was ended, one of the Lord Pope’s sub-deacons, named Ottaviano, read out before all in a loud voice the miracles of the Saint: and Messer Riniero,

 126. Then the blessed Pope cried with a loud voice and said, raising his hands to heaven, “To the praise and glory of Almighty God the Father, Son and Holy Ghost, and of the glorious Virgin Mary, and of the blessed Apostles Peter and Paul, and to the honor of the glorious Church of Rome, by the counsel of our brethren and the other prelates we decree, revering on earth the most blessed father Francis whom the Lord hath glorified in heaven, that he be numbered in the roll of saints, and that his festival be kept on the day of his death.” And on this, the reverend Cardinals with the Lord Pope began to chant with loud voice “Te Deum Laudamus74Then was raised a shout of many people praising God, the earth rang with the mighty sound, the air was filled with jubilations, and the ground was moistened with tears. New songs were sung, and God’s servants rejoiced in melody of the spirit. Sweet toned organs were heard, and spiritual songs were sung by harmonious voices. Sweet perfume was there shed around, and jocund melody stirred the emotions of all. Brightly gleamed that day, which was tinted with more radiant beams. There the olive-boughs were green, and the other trees were decked in their fresh foliage; there all were adorned with festive attire of dazzling brightness and the blessing of peace rejoiced the minds of the throng. At length the happy Pope Gregory came down from his lofty throne, and by the steps beneath entered the sanctuary to offer vows and sacrifices, and with happy lips he kissed the tomb containing the body sacred and consecrated to God. He offered many prayers and celebrated the Sacred Mysteries. A crowd of brethren stood about him praising, worshiping and blessing Almighty God who has done great things in all lands. All the people magnified God’s praises, and paid the due of holy thanksgiving to St. Francis in honor of the Trinity Most High. Amen. These things were done in the city of Assisi on 16th July, in the second year of the pontificate of Pope Gregory IX. [A.D. 1228.]

 

74[An old hymn of the church. For the words, click here.]

 

I Celano Part III Introduction

PART III

Here begins the third part, concerning the canonization of our blessed father Francis, and concerning his miracles

[Introductory Remarks]

119. So our most glorious father Francis in the twentieth year of his conversion, connecting a happy beginning with a still happier end, most happily commended his spirit to heaven where, “crowned with glory and honor” and having obtained a place “amid fiery stones” [cf. Ezek. 28:14] he stands before the throne of the Godhead and applies himself effectually to further the concerns of those whom he has left on earth. What indeed may be denied to him in the imprint of whose sacred stigmata appears the form of Him “who being coequal with the Father sitteth at the right hand of the Majesty on high, the brightness of God’s glory and the figure of His substance,” making atonement for sins? Should not he be heard who having been “conformed unto the death of Christ Jesus in the fellowship of His sufferings,” shows forth the sacred wounds in hands, feet and side? Verily he is already gladdening the whole world, saved by the new joy, and offering to all the advantage of true salvation. By the bright light of miracles he shines on the world and illumines the whole earth with the luster of a true star. At first the world, robbed of his presence, mourned, and at his setting saw itself overwhelmed as it were in a pit of darkness. But now, in the rising of this new light, being lit up as at noon with brighter beams, it feels that the universal darkness has departed. All its lamentation, blessed God, has ceased now that everywhere and every day with new exultation plenteous sheaves of holy virtues are being heaped upon it through him. From east and west, from south and north come those who have been succored through his advocacy and are proving by truthful witness that these things are so. And indeed while he lived in the flesh that chiefest lover of the things above took nothing in the way of property on earth, to the end that he might the more fully and joyfully possess the universal good, and so he who refused the part acquired the whole, and exchanged time for eternity. Everywhere he is helping all, everywhere he is at hand for all, and, truly a lover of the Unity, knows not the losses of participation.

120. Still living among sinners he is traveling and preaching through the world: reigning now with the angels on high he flies swifter than thought as a messenger of the Supreme King and bestows glorious benefits on all peoples. Therefore the whole body of the peoples honors, reveres, glorifies and praises him. All in fact are sharers in the common good. Who may tell the number and nature of the miracles which the Lord is everywhere deigning to work through him? How many miracles in truth is Francis performing in France alone where the king and queen and all the magnates ran to kiss and worship the bolster which St. Francis had used in his sickness? Where also the wise and most learned men in the world (of whom as is her wont Paris produces a greater abundance than any other place) are humbly and most devoutly revering, admiring and honoring Francis, the unlettered man and the true friend of simplicity and of all sincerity ? And truly he was Francis, for above all men he bore a frank and noble heart. They who have experienced his greatness of spirit know how free, how liberal he was in all things, how confident and fearless; with what power, with what fervor of soul he trampled on all worldly things. And what shall I say of other parts of the world where by means of parts of his girdle diseases depart, sicknesses fly away, and crowds of both sexes are delivered from their plagues by merely calling on his name?

121. At his tomb, moreover, fresh miracles are constantly performing, and, in answer to multiplied intercessions, signal benefits to souls and bodies are granted at that place. Sight is restored to the blind, hearing to the deaf, the lame walk, the dumb speak, the gouty leap, the leper is cleansed, the swollen are reduced in bulk, and those oppressed by divers infirmities obtain their wished-for health, in such wise that the dead body heals living bodies, even as the living body raised up dead souls.

I Celano Part II Chapter X

Chapter 10: Of the wailing of the ladies at St. Damian and how St. Francis was buried with praise and glory

116. His brethren therefore and sons who had come together with all the multitude of people from the neighboring towns, rejoicing to be present at such a solemnity, spent the whole night on which the holy father died in praising God, so that for the sweetness of the songs of joy and the brightness of the lights it seemed to be a vigil of angels. And in the morning the people of Assisi with the whole of the clergy assembled, and took the sacred body from the place where he had died and brought it with honor into the city with hymns and praises and blare of trumpets. All carried boughs of olive and other trees, performing the sacred obsequies with solemnity; and with many lights and with loud-sounding voices they discharged the duty of praise. And when, as the sons bore their father and the flock followed their shepherd hastening to the Shepherd of all, they reached the place where he himself had planted the Religion and Order of Sacred Virgins and Poor Ladies, and laid him in the church of St. Damian,72 wherein his said daughters dwelt whom he had won to the Lord, a little window was opened through which the Handmaids of Christ are wont at the appointed time to partake of the Sacrament of the Lord’s Body. The coffin also was opened wherein lay hid a treasure of super-celestial virtues, wherein he was being borne by few who was wont to bear many. And lo! the Lady Clare, who was indeed illustrious (clara) through her holy merits and was the mother of the rest and the first plant of this holy Order, came with her daughters to look upon the father that spake not to them, and would not return to them, for he was hastening elsewhere.

117. And as they looked upon him with repeated sighs, with deep groaning and with many tears, they began to cry with choked voices, “Father, father, what shall we do? Why do you forsake us in our misery, or to whom do you leave us in our desolation? Why did you not send us before rejoicing to the place whither you are going–us whom you leave thus grieving here? What do you bid us to do, shut up thus in this prison–us whom you are determined nevermore to visit as you were wont to do? With you all our consolation departs and no such solace is left to us, buried in the world! Who shall comfort us in such poverty–poverty not less of merit than of [temporal] things? O father of the poor! lover of Poverty! who shall succor us in temptation, O you who have known countless temptations, you cautious trier of temptations? Who shall comfort us troubled ones in our tribulation, you our helper in exceeding great tribulations which came upon us? O most bitter separation, O disastrous forsaking! O Death too dreadful who are slaughtering thousands of sons and daughters bereft of such a father while you hasten to remove past recall him through whom any zealous efforts of ours have chiefly prospered!”

But virginal bashfulness restrained their much weeping, and indeed it was very incongruous to wail for one over whose passing hence the angel army hovered in throngs while the fellow-citizens of the Saints and they of God’s household rejoiced. And so those Ladies, divided between sorrow and joy, kissed his radiant hands adorned with most precious gems and flashing with pearls and when he was taken away the door was shut which shall nevermore be opened to such woe.

O what was the grief of all over the woeful and piteous wailing of these Ladies! How great especially were the lamentations of the sorrowing sons! And their peculiar grief was shared by all, so that scarce any one could refrain from weeping while the angels of peace were bitterly weeping.

118. At length when all the multitude had reached the city they laid the most holy body with great rejoicing and exultation in a hallowed place–thenceforward still more hallowed–where to the glory of the Supreme Almighty God he illumines the world by a multiplication of new miracles, even as he has wonderfully enlightened it hitherto by the doctrine of his holy preaching. Thanks be to God. Amen.

See, most holy and blessed father, I have accompanied you with praises due and worthy though insufficient, and have written a narrative, such as it is, of your exploits. Grant therefore to me a miserable man so worthily to follow you now that in mercy I may deserve to overtake you hereafter. Remember, O tender father, the poor sons, to whom, after you their one and only solace, scarce any comfort is left. For though you, the first and best portion of them, are mingled with choirs of angels, and placed among the Apostles on a throne of glory, they nevertheless are lying in mire and dirt, shut up in a dark prison, and crying mournfully to you thus, “Present, father, before Jesus Christ, the Son of the Supreme Father, his sacred wounds, and show forth the tokens of the Cross in side, feet and hands, that He may deign in mercy to display His own wounds to the Father, Who for this will indeed ever be favorable to us in our misery. Amen.”

72[Clare's congregation of Franciscan nuns.]

OPENING SERVICE OF NEW PARISH: Holy Redeemer

St- Andre-Rublev

This is the ICON we have chosen speak for our new Community.

The icon of Jesus was written by St Andre Rublev, considered by many to be one of the greatest icon writers who ever lived.

 The icon was damaged during the communist rule in Russia and was rediscovered by accident. Sadly, as you can see, the only part of the icon which remains intact is Jesus’ face.

 

 

 

 

Love, Honour, Respect and Service

 First Sunday service 2nd Advent

Worship Service:    Sunday 11:00am

 Winmalee Community Hall

376-378 Hawkesbury Road

Winmalee NSW 2777

 

  • We are an inclusive, all welcoming, non-denominational Sacramental Christian community with Franciscan leadership, who are called to Love God, Honour the Christ in others and to Respect each ones’ circumstances and spiritual journey.
  • We are called by the Holy Spirit and with your aid, and like St Francis of Assisi, we would like to bring harmony to the Christian Faith.
  •  We believe that we have moved beyond the need for the safe boundaries of denomination, and into the open spaces where we may rediscover who Jesus is and how we are to faithfully serve Him.
  • We passionately believe in the Two Great Commandments that Jesus gave us and in the example of Service and devotion to Jesus which was set for us by St Francis.
  •  We earnestly believe that nothing ought to come between a brother and sister of Christ, save the empty air between them.
  •  If you too, have the desire to rediscover who Jesus is and how you are called to serve Him- why not join us on Sundays and see if the Holy Spirit invites you to journey with us?’

 An ECCA Parish in the Care of the Ecumenical Franciscan order

  Post by Holy Redeemer.

 

 

 

 

 

I Celano Part II Chapter IX

Chapter 9: Of the brethren’s lamentation and of their joy when they beheld him bearing the signs of the Cross and of the Seraphs wings

112. Many people therefore flocked together praising God and saying, “Praised and blessed be You, O Lord our God, who have entrusted to us, unworthy as we are, so precious a deposit: praise and glory be to You, ineffable Trinity.” The whole city of Assisi rushed in throngs and all that region made haste to see the great things of God which the Lord of Majesty had gloriously shown in His holy servant. Each one, as his heart’s joy prompted him, sang an hymn of gladness, and all blessed the Savior’s omnipotence for the fulfillment of their desire. But the sons, bereft of such a father, lamented and showed the dutiful affection of their hearts by tears and sighs. But an unheard-of joy tempered their sadness, and the novelty of a miracle turned their minds to exceeding amazement. Grief was converted into singing and weeping into jubilation. For never had they heard or read in Scriptures of a thing which was now displayed before their eyes; and indeed they could scarce have been persuaded of it had it not been proved by testimony so manifest. There appeared in him in fact the form of the Cross and Passion of the spotless Lamb Who washed away the sins of the world,67 while he seemed as though lately taken down from the Cross, having his hands and feet pierced by nails, and his right side as though wounded by a lance. And they beheld his flesh which had been dark before glittering with exceeding whiteness and promising by its beauty the reward of a blessed resurrection. Finally they saw his face like the face of an angel, as if he were alive and not dead, while his other members had become soft and pliant like those of an innocent child.67

 

 

 

67[A reference to part of the Mass, the Agnus dei.]

68[The bodies of the saints were often examined for signs of holiness--a living quality, a good smell (the odor of sanctity), incorruptibility--although such signs were not required as evidence of sanctity.]

113. His sinews were not contracted as those of the dead are wont to be, his skin was not hardened, his limbs were not stiffened, but turned this way and that as they were placed. And while he shone with such wondrous beauty in the sight of all, and his flesh had become still more radiant, it was wonderful to see amid his hands and feet not the prints of the nails but the nails themselves formed out of his flesh and retaining the blackness of iron, and his right side reddened with blood. The signs of martyrdom did not fill the minds of the beholders with horror but added much comeliness and grace, even as little black stones in a white pavement are wont to do. His brethren and sons hastened to the sight and wept together as they kissed the hands and feet of the tender father who was leaving them, and his right side also in whose wound a solemn memorial was enacting of Him who, shedding forth blood and water together from that same part, reconciled the world to the Father. Any one among the people who was admitted, not to kiss but only to see the sacred stigmata of Jesus Christ which St. Francis bore in his body deemed that the greatest of gifts was bestowed upon him. For who at that sight would give himself over to weeping and not rather to joy? and if he wept would not weep for joy rather than from grief? Whose breast so hard but it would be moved to groaning? Whose heart so stony that it would be cleft by compunction, kindled to Divine love, armed with a good will? Who so dull, so insensible as not to perceive in manifest truth that as that Saint was honored by so unparalleled a gift on earth so he is magnified by glory unspeakable in heaven?

 

114. O unparalleled gift, and token of a prerogative of love, that a knight should be decked with the same glorious arms that befit the King alone in their surpassing dignity! O miracle worthy of eternal memory, O memorable sacrament worthy of ceaseless awe and wonder, which by seeing faith69 represents that mystery wherein the blood of the spotless Lamb streaming plenteously through five outlets has washed away the sins of the world! O sublime splendor of the life-giving Cross which quickens the dead, whose burden presses so gently and causes so sweet a smart that in it the dead flesh lives and the feeble spirit is strengthened He loved you much, whom you did so gloriously adorn! Glory and blessing be to the only wise God who renews signs and changes wonders that He may comfort the minds of the weak by new revelations and that by a wonderful work in the region of the visible their hearts may be caught up into love of the invisible! O wondrous and lovable contrivance of God whereby (that no suspicion might arise concerning the newness of the miracle) He in His mercy first displayed in a celestial being that which ere long He was about to do in one dwelling on earth! And indeed the true Father of mercies willed to make known of how great a reward he is worthy who shall strive to love Him with all his heart–a station namely in the highest rank of super-celestial spirits and the nearest to Himself. And this reward we can undoubtedly attain if like the Seraph we extend two wings above our head, that is to say, if (after blessed Francis’; example) in every good work our intention be pure and our action upright, and if we direct these toward God and strive with tireless zeal to please Him in everything. Now the wings must needs be joined together for the veiling of the head, because the Father of lights will by no means accept uprightness of action without purity of intention, nor yet the converse, as He Himself saith, “If thine eye is single your whole body shall be bright, but if it is evil your whole body shall be dark.” [Lk 11:34] For that is not a single eye which sees not what it should see for lack of knowledge of the truth, nor yet that which not having a pure intention looks on what it ought not.70

Plain reason will judge that in the first case the eye is not single, but blind; and that in the second, the eye is evil. The feathers of these wings are the love of the Father who saves in mercy, and the fear of the Lord, the terrible judge, which feathers should keep the souls of the elect raised up above earthly things by checking bad impulses and ordering the affections in chastity.

With two wings also we should fly to bestow double charity on our neighbor, namely by refreshing his soul with God’s word and sustaining his body with earthly succor. But these wings are most rarely joined together because hardly any one is able to fulfill both these duties. The feathers of these wings are the different acts necessary to be done for giving advice and help to our neighbor.

Lastly, with two wings the body, which is bare of merits, should be covered; and this is orderly performed when, so often as it has been stripped by the intervention of sin, it is again clothed with innocence through contrition and confession. The feathers of these wings are the manifold affections begotten by execration of sin and hunger after righteousness.

69Oculata fide. Al. occulta, occultata (hidden faith).

70[A seraph is in Christian thought the highest kind of angel, and usually had four or six wings (most usually six). The seraph is mentioned in the book of Isaiah. Thomas could well have known Alan of Lille's exposition on the wings of the Cherubim; Richard of St. Victor also discusses the wings of the Cherubim.

115. All these things were most perfectly performed by the most blessed father Francis who bore the image and form of a seraph and by continuing on the Cross was found worthy to rise to the rank of the spirits on high. For he was ever on the Cross, shrinking from no toil and pain if only he might accomplish the Lord's will in himself and concerning himself. The brethren, moreover, who lived with him knew how continually every day his talk was of Jesus, how sweet and tender was his discourse, how benign and full of love his conversation. Out of the abundance of the heart his mouth spoke, and the spring of enlightened love which filled him inwardly through and through bubbled forth outwardly. Verily, he was much with Jesus; ever did he bear Jesus in his heart, Jesus in his mouth, Jesus in his ears, Jesus in his eyes, Jesus in his hands, Jesus in his other members. Oh, how often, when sitting at table, if he heard or named or thought of Jesus, did he forget the bodily food, and as we read concerning the Saint, "Seeing, he saw not; and hearing, heard not." 71 Nay, more, many a time, as he was walking on his way meditating and singing of Jesus, did he forget whither he was going, and invite all the elements to praise Jesus. And because with wondrous love he ever bore and preserved in his heart Christ Jesus and Him crucified, therefore he was signed in most glorious wise above all other men with the sign of Him whom in rapture of mind he even contemplated in glory unspeakable and incomprehensible, sitting at the right hand of the Father with whom He, the Most High, coequal Son of the Most High, in the unity of the Holy Ghost liveth and reigneth, overcometh and governeth, God eternally glorious throughout all ages. Amen.

71[This seems to be a reference to Mt. 13:13-14 in which the text explains that parables are used for those who do not see what is in front of them. The parable immediately before this passage is the parable of the sower, and Thomas often makes reference to future failings within the order, but he seems not to be alluding specifically to that here, because he certainly doesn't want to say that Francis is blind to religious truth! What he's doing instead is quoting familiar words for an entirely different purpose.]

I Celano Part II chapter VIII

Chapter 8: What he did and said at the time of his happy decease.

 

109. The space of twenty years since his conversion was now accomplished, according to that which had been made known to him by the Divine will: for at a certain time when the blessed father and brother Elias were dwelling at Foligno, one night when they were asleep a certain priest clothed in white, of very great age and venerable appearance, stood by brother Elias and said, “Arise, brother, and tell brother Francis that eighteen years are fulfilled since he renounced the world and cleave to Christ, that he shall remain in this life for two years only from this time and then the Lord will call him to Himself and he shall enter on the way of all flesh.” And so it came to pass that the word of the Lord long foretold was fulfilled at the appointed time.

So after he had rested for a few days in the place he had so greatly longed for, and knew that the time of death was imminent, he called to him two brethren, and his specially loved sons and bade them in exultation of spirit sing, with a loud voice praises to the Lord concerning death which was near, rather life which was so close at hand; while himself, as he was able, broke into that Psalm of David, “I cried unto the Lord with my voice, with my voice unto the Lord I made supplication.” [Ps. 142:1] But a certain brother among the company whom the Saint loved with very great affection and who was in great anxiety on behalf of all the brethren said to him when he saw these things and knew that his end was approaching, “Ah, kind father! your children remain fatherless now, and are being bereft of the true light of their eyes! Remember then the orphans you are leaving, forgive them all their faults and rejoice them all both present and absent with your holy blessing!” “See, my son,” answered the Saint, “God is calling me, I remit all the offences and faults of my brethren as well absent as present, and so far as I may, I absolve them. Proclaim this to them and bless them all for me.”

110. Finally, he ordered the codex of the Gospels to be brought and asked to have the passage from the Gospel according to John read to him beginning at the words “Six days (sic) before the Passover, Jesus, knowing that His hour was come, that He should pass out of this world unto the Father.”64 Now the attendant had purposed to read this Gospel to him before he was bidden to do so, and furthermore the book opened first at that place, though the volume 65 out of which that Gospel had to be read was filled throughout with writing.

  Then, for that he was about to become dust and ashes, he bade that he should be laid on sackcloth and sprinkled with ashes. All the brethren (whose father and leader he was) came together, and, as they stood reverently by and awaited his blessed departure and happy consummation, his most holy soul was released from the flesh and absorbed into the abyss of light, and his body fell asleep in the Lord. But one of his brethren and disciples, a man of no small fame, whose name I think it right to suppress now because while he lives in the flesh he chooses not to glory in such an announcement, saw the soul of the most holy father ascending over many waters in a straight course to heaven, and his soul was as it were a star having in some sort the bigness of the moon and possessing somewhat of the brightness of the sun, and borne up by a little white cloud.

111. Wherefore it pleases me to cry out thus concerning him, “O how glorious” is this Saint whose soul a disciple saw ascending into heaven, “fair as the moon, precious as the sun,” [Canticles 6:9] most gloriously did he glow as he ascended on a white cloud! O you true lamp of the world, shining in Christ’s Church more brightly than the sun, lo! now you have withdrawn the beams of your light, and, departing to that shining country, have exchanged the company of us miserable beings for that of angels and saints! O glorious nursing-father of singular renown,66 put not off from you the care of your children though you have now put off flesh like unto theirs! You know, yes, you know, in what great straits you have left those whose countless toils and frequent distresses your happy presence alone did at all times tenderly relieve! O most holy father, truly merciful, who were ever ready in kindness to have mercy on your sinful children and to forgive them! Therefore we bless you, worthy father whom the Most High did bless Who is for ever God blessed above all. Amen.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  64[Thomas has conflated several passages (not uncommon, given that people worked from memory quite a lot); John 12:1 has been run together with John 13:1. The uncited portion of this passage continues, "having loved His own who were in the world, He loved them to the end." The clerical reader would have picked up the rest of the quotation, but clearly this was intended as a message. It also casts Francis in a most Christ-like position.]

  

 

 

 65 Bibliotheca, i.e., the volume of the Holy Scriptures. [While modern Bibles are usually all in one volume, medieval bibles tended to be in several volumes.]

 66[This maternal imagery is used in relation to Francis quite a lot. Part of the testimony in the canonization of St. Clare contains a vision she attends on a birth (her own) and then Francis nurses her.]