THE PASSING OF FRANCIS INTO HEAVEN
[READER 1] Then Francis asked to be laid on the bare floor without his habit. With his back to the cold floor he raised his face to heaven and was completely taken up by the glory of holy Poverty. Covering his wound on his right side with his left hand he spoke thus to the brethren:
[LEADER] I have done my part. May Christ teach you yours.
[READER 2] Meanwhile, the Guardian rose hastily and took a habit to St. Francis. “Consider this habit,” he said, “as something I have lent to you. I deprive you of the right to give it away to others.” Then St. Francis exulted, because he saw that he had been true to Lady Poverty to the end. Now he asked for bread, He took the loaf, blessed it, broke it, and gave a piece to everyone to eat. Thus he held a memorial service of the Last Supper which the Lord had celebrated. He did this to show the deep love he had for his brethren.
[READER 1] At last, when all the mysteries of Christ had been fulfilled in him, he went up joyfully to God. When St. Francis died the people were filled with sorrow, but on seeing him in a clear resemblance of the Lamb who takes away the sin of the world, they rejoiced. He was, as it were, just taken down from the cross- with the wounds of the nails in his hands and feet, and that of the lance in his side. They came near and kissed these marks which reminded them of him who had reconciled the world to God.
Pray for us holy father St. Francis,
that we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.