Let us begin by considering the conformity of the glorious St.Francis, in all the acts of his life, to Christ. Even as Christ, when He began to teach, elected twelve Apostles to follow Him in poverty and every virtue, disdaining all things of the world, so St.Francis, when he founded his Order, chose his twelve companions, who professed perfect poverty. And even as the twelve Apostles were a wonderful example to all the world in their saintliness and their plenitude of the Holy Spirit, so these blessed companions of St.Francis were men of such exceptional holiness that the world had not seen their like since the days of the Apostles.
One of them was caught up into the third heaven, like St.Paul, and this was Brother Giles (Edigio). Another, namely Brother Philip Lungo, was touched on the lips by the angel with a coal of fire, as was the Prophet Isiah. Another, Brother Silvester, discoursed with God as one friend with another, as Moses had done. Another again, in pure intellection, soared into the very light of divine wisdom like John the Evangelist, the Eagle, and this was no other than the most humble Brother Bernard, who expounded most profoundly the Holy Scriptures. Another was consecrated by God and canonized in Heaven while he yet lived on earth; this was Brother Ruffino, a nobleman of Assisi. And thus they were all blest with singular signs of holiness, as we will set forth in due course.