The First Witness of Thomas of Celano (1228) - 397 

Chapter VIII
HOW HE BUILT THE CHURCH OF SAN DAMIANO,
AND OF THE WAY OF LIFE OF THE LADIES LIVING IN THAT PLACEa

18The first work that blessed Francis undertook,
after he had gained his freedom
from the hands of his carnally-minded father,
was to build a house of God.
He did not try to build a new one,
but he repaired an old one,
restored an ancient one.b
He did not tear out the foundation,
but he built upon it,
always reserving to Christ his prerogative,
although unaware of it,
for no one can lay another foundation,
but that which has been laid,
which is Christ Jesus. 1 Cor 3:11

When he had returned to the place mentioned where
the church of San Damiano had been built in ancient times,
he repaired it zealously within a short time,
aided by the grace of the Most High.c
This is the blessed and holy place where
the glorious religion and most excellent Order
of Poor Ladies and holy virgins
had its happy beginning,
about six years after the conversion of the blessed Francis
and through that same blessed man.

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Clare of Assisi: Early Documents, p. 397

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