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 The Testament - 61 

will as yet be ladies here who will glorify our heavenly Father throughout His holy, universal Church by their celebrated and holy manner of life.”

15We can consider in this, therefore, the abundant kindness of God to us. 16Because of His mercy and love, He saw fit to speak these words about our vocation and election through His saint. 17And our most blessed father prophesied not only for us, but also for those who would come to this holy vocation to which the Lord has called us.

18With what eagerness and fervor of mind and body, therefore, must we keep the commandments of God and of our father, so that, with the help of the Lord, we may return to Him an increase of talents! 19For the Lord Himself has placed us as a model, as an example and mirror not only for others, but also for our sisters whom the Lord has called to our way of life as well, 20that they in turn might be a mirror and example to those living in the world. 21Since the Lord has called us to such great things that those who are a mirror and example to others may be reflected in us, 22we are greatly bound to bless and praise God and to be strengthened more and more to do good in the Lord. 23Therefore, if we live according to the form mentioned above, we shall leave others a noble example and gain, with very little effort, the prize of eternal happiness.

24After the most high heavenly Father saw fit in mercy and grace to enlighten my heart that I might do penance according to the example and teaching of our most blessed father Francis, 25a short while after his conversion, I, together with a few sisters whom the Lord had given me after my own conversion, willingly promised him obedience, 26as the Lord gave us the light of His grace through his wonderful life and teaching. 27When the blessed Francis saw, however, that, although we were physically weak and frail, we did not shirk deprivation, poverty, hard work, trial, or the shame or contempt of the world—28rather, we consid- ered them as great delights, as he had frequently examined us according to the example of the saints and his brothers, he greatly rejoiced in the Lord. 29And moved by pity for us, he bound him- self, both personally and through his religion, always to have the same loving care and special solicitude for us as for his own brothers.

30And thus, by the will of God and our most blessed father Francis, we went to dwell in the Church of San Damiano,

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Epistola Ad Sanctam Agnetem De Praga III, Fontes Franciscani, p. 2312-2313


14quoniam adhuc erunt domiriae ibi, quarum famosa vita et conversatione sancta glorificabitur Pater noster caelestis in universa Ecclesia sua sancta.

15In hoc ergo considerare possumus copiosam benignitatem. Dei in nobis, 16qui propter abundantem misericordiam et caritatem suam de nostra vocatione et electione per Sanctum suum dignatus est ista loqui. 17Et non solum de nobis ista pater noster beatissimus Franciscus prophetavit, sed etiam de aliis quae venturae erant in vocatione saneta, in qua Dominus nos vocavit.

18Quanta ergo sollicitudine quantoque studio Mentis et corporis mandata Dei et patris nostri servare debemus, ut cooperante Domino talentum multiplicatum reddamus! 19Ipse enim Dominus non solum nos posuit et formam aliis in exemplum et speculum, sed etiam sororibus nostris quas ad vocationem nostram Dominus advocabit, 20ut et ipsae sint conversantibus in mundo in speculum et exemplum. 21Cum igitur nos vocaverit Dominus ad tam magna, ut in nobis se valeant speculari quae: aliis in speculum sunt et exemplum, 22tenemur multum benedicere Deum et laudare,et ad benefaciendum in Domino confortari amplius. 23Quapropter si secundum formam praedictam vixerimus exemplum nobile aliis relinquemus et aeternae beatitudinis bravium labore brevissimo acquiremus.

24Postquam altissimus Pater caelestis per misericordiam suam et gratiam cor meum dignatus est illustrare, ut exemplo et doctrina beatissimi patris nostri Francisci poenitentiam facerem, 25paulo post conversionem ipsius una cum paucis sororibus, quas Dominus mihi dederat, paulo post conversionem meam, obedientiam voluntarie sibi promisi, 26sicut Dominus lumen gratiae suae nobis contulerat per eius vitam mirabilem et doctrinam. 27Attendens autem Franciscus quod essemus fragiles et debiles secundum corpus, nullam tamen necessitatem, paupertatem, laborem, tribulationem vel vilitatem et contemptum saeculi recusabamus; 28immo pro magnis deliciis reputabamus, sicut exemplis Sanctorum et fratrum suorum, examinaverat nos frequenter, gavisus est multum in Domino. 29Et ad pietatem erga nos motus obligavit se nobis, per se et per religionem suam, habere semper de nobis tamquam de fratribus suis curam diligentem et sollicitudinem specialem. 30Et sic de voluntate Dei et beatissimi patris nostri Francisci ivimus ad ecelesiam Sancti Damiani moraturae,

Clare of Assisi: Early Documents, p. 61

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