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 The Anonymous of Perugia - 43 

Those who saw them were amazed: "We have never seen religious dressed like this." They seemed to differ from all others by their habit and lifestyle, like wild men. When they entered a city, town or a home, they would announce peace. Whenever they saw men or women on the streets or in the piazzas, they would encourage them to fear and love the Creator of heaven and earth, to remember His commandments that they had forgotten, and to strive to fulfill them. Some people willingly and joyfully listened to the brothers; others, however, jeered at them. Many people repeatedly questioned them, and it was extremely wearisome to answer so many questions because new situations often gave rise to new questions. Some asked them: "Where do you come from?" While others asked: "To which Order do you belong?" They answered simply: "We are penitents and were born in Assisi." At that time the religion of the brothers was not yet called an order.a

20 Many who saw and heard them considered them impostors or fools. Someone among them remarked: "I wouldn't care to invite them into my house; they would probably steal my belongings." And because of this, any number of insults were inflicted on them in many places. Therefore they very frequently sought lodging in the porticos of churches or houses.

About this time two brothersb were in the city of Florence, going throughout the city in search of a place to stay, but were unable to find any. When they found a house with a portico containing a bread-oven, they said to each other: "We can stay here." They therefore asked the lady of the house if she would please welcome them into her home. When she instantly refused, they begged her at least to let them spend that night near the oven.

She let them do this. However, when her husband came home, and saw the brothers on the porch near the oven, he said to her: "Why did you offer lodging to these two rogues?" She answered: "I didn't want to offer them hospitality in the house, but gave them permission to stay on the porch where they couldn't steal anything from us except the firewood." On account of this distrust, they did not want to give the brothers anything to cover themselves, although the weather was severely cold.

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Anonymus Perusinus, Fontes Franciscani, p. 1325-1326


4Quicumque vero videbant eos, mirabantur dicentes: « Numquam tales Religiosos vidimus sic indutos ». 5Omnibus enim aliis habitu et vita dissimiles, silvestres homines videbantur. 6Quando intrabant civitatem aliquam, castellum aut domum, pacem a annunciabant. 7Ubicumque autem inveniebant homines vel mulieres in viis vel in plateis, confortabant eos, ut timerent et amarent Creatorem caeli et terrae, et ut mandatorum eius quae oblivioni tradiderant recordantes, ea studerent amodo opere adimplere. 8Et quidam eorum libenter eos et cum gaudio audiebant, alii autem e contrario deridebant. 9A multis multipliciter interrogabantur, et valde laboriosum erat eis tot et tantis interrogationibus respondere, quia in novis rebus novae interrogationes saepius oriuntur. 10Quidam enim interrogabant eos: « Unde estis? ». Alii vero dicebant: « De quo Ordine estis? ». 11Illi autem simpliciter respondebant: « Paenitentiales sumus, et in civitate Assisii nati fuimus ». 12Adhuc enim Religio fratrum non nominabatur Ordo.

20 1Et multi qui videbant et audiebant eos, deceptores vel fatuos aestimabant. 2Et aliquis inter eos dicebat: « Nolo eos in domum meam recipere, ne forte furentur res meas ». 3Et propter hoc in multis locis inferebantur iniuriae multae eis. 4Unde saepius hospitabantur in Ecclesiarum porticibus vel domorum.

5Eodem tempore erant duo fratres apud civitatem Florentiae, qui per civitatem ibant hospitium exquirentes, et nullatenus poterant invenire. 6Venientes igitur ad quandam domum, cui quaedam porticus erat ante et in porticu clibanus quidam, qui dixerunt ad invicem: « Hic poterimus hospitari ». 7Rogaverunt ergo dominam illius domus, ut in domo sua eos recipere dignaretur. 8Qua statim hoc facere recusante, deprecati sunt eam ut vel iuxta clibanum eos illa nocte permitteret hospitari.

9Quae concessit eis. Cum venisset autem vir eius et fratres in porticu iuxta clibanum respexisset, dixit ei: « Quare ribaldis istis hospitium contulisti? ». 10Quae respondit: « Ego eos in domo nolui hospitari, sed extra in porticu iacere permisi, nec inde nobis possent aliquid furari, nisi forte ligna ». 11Et propter suspicionem istam noluerunt fratribus ad cooperiendum aliquid commodare, licet magnum eo tempore frigus esset.

Francis of Assisi: Early Documents, vol. 2, p. 43

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