Translated from the 14th Century Fioretti, 1905

"In this book are contained certain little Flowers, namely, miracles and devout examples of the glorious poor little one of Christ, St Francis, and of some of his holy companions, to the praise of Jesus Christ. Amen. In the first place, let us consider how the glorious St Francis, in all the acts of his life, was conformed to the life of that blessed Christ; that, as Christ in the beginning of His preaching elected twelve apostles, that they should despise every worldly thing and follow Him in poverty and in all virtues, so St Francis, for the founding of his order, elected in the beginning twelve companions, who were to be possessors of nothing but an entire poverty. And as one of the twelve apostles of Christ, rejected by God for his infidelity, finally strangled himself, so also one of the twelve companions of St Francis, who was called Brother John della Capella, apostatized, and finally hanged himself in like manner. And this is to the elect a great warning, and a matter of humility and of fear, to cause them to remember that no one is certain to persevere to the end in the grace of God.

As the blessed apostles were wholly marvellous for sanctity and humility and full of the Holy Ghost, so the blessed companions of St Francis were men of such great sanctity that since the time of the apostles, the world had not seen the like; since one of them, like St Paul, was taken up into the third heaven, and this was Brother Giles; another of them, namely Brother Filippo Longo, was touched on the lips by an angel, like the Prophet Isaias, with a coal of fire; another of them, and this was Brother Silvester, spoke with God, as one friend with another, after the manner of Moses; another, by the purity of his soul, flew up to the light of the Divine Wisdom, like the eagle, St. John the Evangelist, and this was the most humble Brother Bernard, who explained most profoundly Holy Writ; and another was sanctified by God and canonized in heaven whilst still living on earth, and this was Brother Ruffino, who was a gentleman of Assisi. And so were they all priviled with remarkable signs of holiness, as will be declared in the sequel . . ."--page 1 - 2

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