Within the Basilica of St. Francis in Assisi is a precious relic: a small, crumpled piece of yellowed parchment with the writing of St. Francis, now displayed in a silver reliquary.
It was written on Mount La Verna after St. Francis had received the stigmata. The first biographer of St. Francis, Bl. Thomas of Celano wrote that for a long time St. Francis’ friend, Brother Leo, had greatly desired to have some memorial from the words of Our Lord written by St. Francis:
“One day Blessed Francis called him, saying, ‘Bring me paper and ink, for I wish to write the words of God and His praises which I have been meditating in my heart.’ What he asked for being straightway brought, he writes with his own hand the praises of God and the words which he [his companion] wished, and lastly a blessing of the brother, saying: ‘Take this sheet for thyself and until the day of thy death guard it carefully.’ All temptation was at once driven away; the letter is kept and worked wonders for the time to come.” Brother Leo kept it faithfully; folding it in four, he carried it in his pocket and guarded it jealously for a good forty-six years. The text in the middle, written in black, and marked with a large “Tau” cross is in Francis’s own handwriting, he writes the praises of God and grants to Brother Leo the blessing (from the Book of Numbers 6: 22-27) which later became known as “the Blessing of St. Francis.” (1)
May the Lord bless you.
May the Lord keep you.
May he show His face to you and have mercy.
May he turn to you His countenance and give you peace.
The Lord bless you.