There was a great silence. Evening had already stolen into the hut. Francis lay motionless. The final stage of his “transitus”, his passing over from this life to Life Everlasting had begun. He died singing on October 3rd, 1226, in the forty-sixth year of his life, and the twenty-fifth year of his conversion.
Then a multitude of larks flocked wheeling about the roof of the hut, and with their sad chirping, grieved the loss of their friend. At the same hour a brother saw a shining star, borne on a white cloud, mounting towards heaven. The soul of the Little Poor Man was flying to eternal happiness.
“In truth, in very truth, the presence of Francis, our brother and our father, was light, not only to us who were close to him but also to those who were more removed from us in calling and in life. He was as light sent forth from the True Light, to enlighten those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death; that he might guide their feet into the way of peace. He did this even as the True Daystar from on high enlightened his heart and inflamed his will with the fire of His love. When he preached the Kingdom of God…he made ready for the Lord a new people throughout the whole world.” ~From the letter of Brother Elias announcing the death of Francis of Assisi