“Two years before his death, the blessed Francis spent forty days on Mount LaVerna from the Feast of the Assumption of the holy Virgin Mary until the September Feast of Saint Michael, in honor of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Mother of God, and blessed Michael the Archangel. The Lord’s hand was upon him.
After the vision and message of the Seraph and the impression of Christ’s stigmata upon body, Francis composed these praises and wrote them in his own hand, thanking God for the kindness bestowed on him.”
On the other side of the same parchment Brother Leo wrote:
“The blessed Francis wrote this Blessing for me with his own hand. “Then, in a similar way he made with his own hand this sign, a TAU (cross) together with a skull.”
The original parchment is now preserved in the Basilica of Saint Francis in Assisi.
In preparing the edition of these texts, Kajetan Esser relied on the work of Duane Lapsanski who had examined the original parchment with the help of infa-red technology and was able to read passages now illegible to the naked eye. Even with the aid of technology, the parchment was still illegible in certain places, particularly at the edges and on the folds. Lapsanski had the help of early manuscript copies of the texts and Esser, relying on a broader examination of those manuscripts, changed some of Lapsanski’s readings. As you will see below, these supplemental readings will be indicated by placing the text in bold print.
By St. Francis, with editions by Duane Lapsanski and Kaietan Esser
You are the holy Lord God Who does wonderful things.
You are strong. You are great. You are the most high.
You are the almighty king. You holy Father, King of heaven and earth.
You, are three and one, the Lord God of gods; You are the good,
all good, the highest good, Lord God living and true.
You are love, charity; You are wisdom, You are humility;
You are patience, You are beauty, You are meekness;
You are security, You are rest; You are gladness and joy, You are our hope, You are justice;
You are moderation, You are all our riches to sufficiency.
You are beauty, You are meekness;
You are the protector, You are our custodian and defender;
You are strength, You are refreshment. You are our hope;
You are our faith, You are our charity; You are all our sweetness,
You are our eternal life, Great and wonderful. Lord, Almighty God, Merciful Savior.
From the book “Francis The Saint” (page 109)