The Anonymous of Perugia - 40 

graces.a On his knees, he begged blessed Francis with great devotion and reverence to accept him into his company. When he heard and saw this, Blessed Francis was filled with joy and received him enthusiastically with open arms. And so the four of them had boundless joy and exceptionally great spiritual joy.

15Blessed Francis then took Brother Giles with himself to the Marches of Ancona, while the other two remained behind. As they were going along, they rejoiced not a little in the Lord. Francis, the man of God, reveled in a very loud voice, singing out in French, praising and blessing the Lord.

Indeed they were filled with great joy, as if they had just acquired an immense treasure. They were able to rejoice so much because they had forsaken so much, and considered as dung the things over which people usually grieve. They regarded as bitter what people of the world consider desirable, things that bring about much misery and grief.

Then blessed Francis told his companion, Brother Giles: "Our religion will be like a fisherman who casts his nets into the water, catching a great number of fish. Seeing the large number of fish, he puts the big ones in his baskets, leaving the small ones in the water." Giles was astonished at the prophecy that the saint uttered, for he knew how few the brothers were.

The man of God did not yet preach to the people. But while they were going through towns and villages, he would encourage men and women to fear and love the Creator of heaven and earth and to do penance for their sins.b Brother Giles would respond: "What he says is very good. Believe him."

16 Those who heard them would say to each other: "Who are these men, and what are these words they're saying?"

Some of them used to say that they seemed to be fools or drunkards, while others would say: "The words coming out of their mouths are not those of fools." One of them said: "Either they are clinging to the Lord for the sake of the highest perfection, or they have gone mad, for their physical life seems reckless. They walk barefoot, wear cheap clothing, and eat very little." Yet there was no one who followed them at that time. Young women, seeing them at a distance, would run away fearing they would be taken in by foolishness. Even though hardly anyone followed them, people remained nevertheless

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Anonymus Perusinus, Fontes Franciscani, p. 1319-1321


cui Dominus gratiam multam dedit. 5Et cum devotione magna et reverentia, flexis genibus, beatum Franciscum rogavit ut eum in societatem suam recipere dignaretur. 6Quod audiens et videns beatus Franciscus laetus efficitur, et recepit eum alacriter et libenter . 7Et sic isti quatuor habuerunt immensam laetitiam et spirituale gaudium magnum valde.

15 1Dehinc assumpsit beatus Franciscus fratrem Aegidium et eum in Anconitanam Marchiam secum duxit, et duo alii remanserunt. 2Euntes autem in Domino non modicum exsultabant. 3Vir autem Dei Franciscus voce clarissima exsultavit, gallice decantans, laudans et benedicens Dominum.

4Magna siquidem in eis laetitia abundabat, quasi ab eis esset thesaurus maximus acquisitus. 5Multum enim gaudere poterant, quia multa reliquerant et tamquam stercora reputaverant, quae consueverunt homines contristare, considerantes proinde amaritudines quas saeculi dilectores in delectationibus saecularium patiuntur, in quibus multa miseria et tristitia reperitur.

6Dixit autem beatus Franciscus ad comitem suum fratrem Aegidium: « Similis erit Religio nostra homini piscatori, qui mittit retia sua in aquam capiens multitudinem piscium copiosam. 7Videns autem piscium multitudinem, magnos eligit in vasis e suis, parvos in aqua relinquens ». 8Miratus est ergo dictus Aegidius vehementer de prophetia quam Sanctus protulit ore suo, cum sciret parvum numerum fratrum esse.

9Adhuc non praedicabat populo vir Dei. 10Quando tamen per civitates et castella transitum faciebant, hortabatur viros et mulieres ut timerent et amarent Creatorem caeli et terrae, et paenitentiam agerent de peccatis suis. 11Frater vero Aegidius respondebat dicens: « Optime dicit; credatis ei ».

16 1Qui eos audiebant, dicebant ad invicem: « Qui sunt isti, et quae verba dicunt? ».

2Quidam eorum dicebant quia stulti vel ebrii videntur. Alii autem. dicebant: « Non sunt verba stultorum ea quae proferunt ore suo ». 3Respondens unus eorum dixit: « Propter summam perfectionem Domino adhaeserunt aut insani facti sunt, quia vita corporis eorum desperata videtur. Nudis pedibus ambulant, viles vestes induti sunt, parco cibo utentes ». 4Adhuc tamen non sequebantur eos. 5Mulieres autem iuvenculae, videntes eos a longe, fugiebant paventes ne forte stultitia tenerentur. 6Quamvis autem minime ipsos sequerentur, timorati nihilominus remanebant visa forma sanctae conversationis qua insigniti pro Domino videbantur.

Francis of Assisi: Early Documents, vol. 2, p. 40

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