Sequence of St. Francis of Assisi

Sequence for the Solemnity of St. Francis of Assisi (October 4th)

New signs of highest sanctity
Deserving praise exceedingly,
Wondrous and beautiful to see
In Francis we behold.

Unto the newly-gathered band
Directed by his guiding hand,
Francis receives the king’s command
The new law to unfold.

Before the world’s astonished view
Arise the life and order new,
Whose sacred laws again renew
The evangelic state.

The rule monastic he reforms,
Unto the law of Christ conforms,
And all the apostolic forms
He holds inviolate.

In raiment coarse and rough-endued,
A cord his only girdle rude,
Scant the measure of his food,
His feet withal unshod.

For poverty alone he yearns,
From earthly things he loathing turns,
The noble Francis money spurns
Despising all for God.

He seeks a place to weep apart,
And mouths in bitterness of heart
Time precious lost, when taking part,
In earthly joys and vain.

Within a mountain-cavern lone
He bides to weep, and lying prone
He prays with many a sigh and groan,
Till calm returns again.

There in that rocky cave’s retreat,
Rapt high in contemplation sweet,
The earth (wise judge) spurned neath his feet,
To heaven he aspires.

His flesh by penance is subdued,
Transfigured wholly and renewed:
The Scriptures are his daily food,
Renouncing earth’s desires.

Then Seraph-like from heaven’s height,
The King of kings appears in sight,
The patriarch, in sore affright,
Beholds the vision dread.

It bears the wounds of Christ, and lo!
While gazing on in speech-less woe,
It marks him, and the stigmas show
Upon his flesh, blood-red.

This body like the Crucified,
Is signed on hands and feet; his side
Transfixed from right to left, and dyed
With crimson streams of blood.

Unto his mind words secret sound,
Things future all in light abound,
Inspired from high, the saint hath found
Their sense, and understood.

Now in those bleeding wounds, behold!
Black nails appear, within, all gold;
Sharp are the points, the pain untold,
Unspeakable the woe.

No instrument of man was brought
To make these wounds- here art did nought,
By nature’s band they were not wrought,
Nor cruel mallet-blow.

We pray thee by the cross’s sign
Marked on thy flesh, whereby twas thine,
The world, the flesh, the foe ma1ign,
To conquer gloriously.

Take us, O Francis, to thy care,
Shield us from woe, from every snare,
That we thy great reward may share,
In heaven eternally.

O Father holy! Father sweet!
Devoutly we thine aid entreat,
May we and all thy brethren meet
Victorious in the strife.

In virtue’s way our footsteps train
And bring us with the saints to reign;
So may thy flock of Minors gain
The joy of endless life.
Amen. Alleluia.

Latin:

Sanctitátis nóva sígna
Prodiérunt láuda dígna
Míra válde et benígna,
In Francísco crédita.

Regulátis nóvi grégis
Júra dántur nóvæ légis,
Renovántur jússa régis
Per Francíscum trádita.

Nóvus órdo, nóva víta,
Múndo súrgit inaudíta,
Restaurávit lex sancíta
Státum evangélicum.

Légi Chrísti pári fórmæ
Reformátur jus confórme,
Ténet rítus dátæ nórmæ
Cúlmen apostólicum.

Córda rúdis, véstis dúra,
Cíngit, tégit síne cúra,
Pánis dátur in mensúra,
Cálceus abjícitur.

Paupertátem tántum quǽrit,
Da terrénis níhil gérit,
Hic Francíscus cúncta térit,
Lóculus despícitur.

Quǽrit lóca lacrymárum,
Prómit vóces cor amárum,
Gémit mœ́stus témpus cárum
Pérditum in sǽculo.

Móntis ántro sequestrátus
Plórat, órat humi strátus
Tándem ménte serenátus
Látitat ergástulo.

Íbi vácat rúpe téctus,
Ad divína súrsum véctus,
Spérnit íma júdex réctus,
Éligit cæléstia.

Cárnem frénat sub censúra,
Transformátam in figúra:
Cíbum cápit de Scriptúra,
Ábigit terréstria.

Tunc ab álto vir hierárcha
Vénit, écce Rex monárcha,
Pávet íste patriárcha,
Visióne térritus.

Défert ílle sígna Chrísti,
Cicatríces cónfert ísti,
Dum mirátur córde trísti
Passiónem tácitus.

Sácrum córpus consignátur,
Mánu, péde vulnerátur;
Déxtrum látus perforátur,
Cruentátur sánguine.

Vérba míscens, arcanórum
Múlta clárent futurórum,
Vídet sánctus vim dictórum
Mýstico spirámine.

Pátent státim míri clávi
Fóris nígri, íntus flávi:
Púngit dólor, pœ́na grávi
Crúciant acúlei.

Céssat ártis armatúra
In membrórum apertúra:
Non impréssit hos natúra,
Non tortúra mállei.

Sígnis crúcis, quæ portásti,
Per quæ múndum triumphásti,
Cárnem, hóstem superásti
Ínclyta victória.

Nos, Francísce, tueámur,
In advérsis protegámur,
Ut mercéde perfruámur
In cælésti glória.

Páter píe, Páter sáncte,
Plebs devóta, te juvánte,
Túrba frátrum comitánte,
Mereátur prǽmia.

Fac consórtes supernórum,
Quos infórmas víta mórum:
Consequátur grex Minórum
Sempitérna gáudia.
Ámen. Allelúja.