The Writings of St. Francis of Assisi, tr. by Paschal Robinson, , at sacred-texts.com
Thomas of Celano, St. Francis’ earliest biographer, bears witness to the authenticity of this exquisite Salutation in his Second Life, written about 1247. 1 It is found in the codices of Assisi, Berlin, Florence (Ognissanti MS.), Foligno, Liegnitz, Naples, Paris (Mazarin MSS. and MS. of Prot. theol. fac.), and Rome (Vatican MSS.), above mentioned, 2 as well as at Düsseldorf (Royal arch. cod. B. 132), and is given by Bartholomew of Pisa in his Liber Conformitatum 3 (fruct. XII, P. 11, Cap. 38). This Salutation was also published in the Speculum Vitae B. Francisci et Sociorum Ejus (fol. 126 v) 4 and by Wadding, 5 who followed the Assisian codex. This codex, which is the oldest one containing the Salutation, has been used for the Quaracchi edition, which I have here followed, as well as the Ognissanti MS. and the version given in the Conformities.
Now follows the
Hail, 7 queen wisdom! May the Lord save thee with thy sister holy pure simplicity! O
[paragraph continues] Lady, holy poverty, may the Lord save thee with thy sister holy humility! O Lady, holy charity, may the Lord save thee with thy sister holy obedience! O all ye most holy virtues, may the Lord, from whom you proceed and come, save you! There is absolutely no man in the whole world who can possess one among you unless he first die. He who possesses one and does not offend the others, possesses all; and he who offends one, possesses none and offends all; and every one [of them] confounds vices and sins. Holy wisdom confounds Satan and all his wickednesses. Pure holy simplicity confounds all the wisdom of this world and the wisdom of the flesh. Holy poverty confounds cupidity and avarice and the cares of this world. Holy humility confounds pride and all the men of this world and all things that are in the world. Holy charity confounds all diabolical and fleshly temptations and all fleshly fears. Holy obedience confounds all bodily and fleshly desires and keeps the body mortified to the obedience of the spirit and to the obedience of one's brother and makes a man subject to all the men of this world and not to men alone, but also to all beasts and wild animals, so that they may do with him whatsoever they will, in so far as it may be granted to them from above by the Lord.
20:1 "Wherefore," he writes of St. Francis, "in the praises of the virtues which he composed he says 'Hail! queen wisdom, God save Thee with Thy sister pure, holy simplicity.'" See 2 Cel. 3, 119, for this Incipit.
20:2 See page 3.
20:3 In the text of the Conformities (which for the most part agrees with that of the Ognissanti MS.) the Salutation is preceded by No. 27 of the Admonitions and begins with the words "There is absolutely no man," etc.
20:4 Ed. of Venice, 1504, and of Metz, 1509.
20:5 Opuscula, Antwerp, 1623.
20:6 In the Assisi codex (as in that of Liegnitz) the title reads: (Notes 6 and 7 carried forward to next page.) p. 21 "Of the virtues with which the Blessed Virgin Mary was adorned and with which a holy soul ought also to be adorned," whereas in the Ognissanti codex and others of the same class, the title is: "Salutation of the Virtues and of their efficacy in confounding Vice." (See Introduction.)
20:7 Cod. As. omits "Hail."