The Anonymous of Perugia - 44 

During that night the brothers got up for matins and went to the nearest church.

21 When morning came, the lady went to church to hear Mass and ;saw them remaining devoutly and humbly in prayer. She said to herself: "If these men were evildoers, as my husband claimed, they would not be praying so reverently."

While she was thinking these things, a man named Guido was going around the church distributing alms to the poor. When he approached the brothers, he attempted to give each one a coin, as he had done to the others, but they refused to take it. He told them: "Why don't you accept coins like the other poor people, for I see that you are just as poor and needy?" One of them, Bernard, answered him: "While it is true that we are poor, our poverty is not as burdensome for us as it is for the other poor, for we have become poor by the grace of God and in fulfillment of His counsel."

22 Astonished, the man asked them if they had ever possessed anything in the world. They told him that they in fact had, but for the love of God had given their belongings to the poor.

When that woman considered that the brothers had refused the coins, she approached them and said: "Christians, if you want to come back to my hospitality, I will gladly receive you into my home." The brothers answered her with humility: "May the Lord reward you." When that man realized that the brothers were unable to find lodging, he took them to his own house and told them: "Look, this is the lodging that the Lord has prepared for you. Stay here as long as you want." The brothers thanked God for showing them His mercy and for hearing the cries of the poor. They stayed with him several days. Because of their words and good example, he was afterwards very generous to the poor.

23 Although they were treated by this man with kindness, others considered them good-for-nothings, so much so that many, the small and the great, treated them and spoke to them "as masters with their servants." Although the brothers wore the poorest and cheapest clothes, for amusement many people still took these away from them. And so, even though they were left naked, for they had only one tunic, the brothers nevertheless always observed the form of the Gospel by not demanding back what was taken from them. Lk 6:29 However, if motivated by piety, the people returned the tunic, they willingly accepted it.

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Anonymus Perusinus, Fontes Franciscani, p. 1326-1328


12Surgentes autem fratres nocte illa ad matutinum, ad magis vicinam sibi Ecclesiam perrexerunt.

21 1Mane autem facto, mulier illa vadens ad Ecclesiam ad audiendam Missam, respexit eos in oratione devote et humiliter permanentes. 2Dixitque intra se: « Si homines isti malefactores essent, sicut vir meus dicebat, orationi non sic insisterent reverenter ». 3Cumque hoc mulier cogitaret, ecce vir quidam nomine Guido per Ecclesiam illam ibat, et pauperibus quos inveniebat elemosinas tribuebat. 4Qui cum accessisset ad fratres et denarium unum cuilibet sicut aliis vellet dare, illi accipere renuerunt. 5Quibus ille dixit: « Quare denarios non accipitis sicut ceteri pauperes, cum ita vos videam inopes et egenos? ». 6Respondit ei unus ex eis, frater Bernardus nomine: « Verum est, utique, quod, pauperes sumus, sed paupertas nostra non ita gravis est ut pauperum aliorum, quia per Dei gratiam et eius consilium adimplendo pauperes facti sumus ».

22 1Admirans super iis homo ille interrogavit eos si adhuc aliquid in saeculo habuissent. 2Qui responderunt se aliqua habuisse, sed amore Dei pauperibus tribuisse.

3Considerans autem dicta mulier fratres denarios recusasse, accedens ad eos, dixit eis: « Christiani, si ad meum vultis redire hospitium, ego vos recipiam intra domum libenter ». 4Cui fratres humiliter responderunt: « Dominus retribuat b tibi ». 5Cum vidisset ergo vir ille quod fratres non poterant hospitium invenisse, apprehendens eos duxit in domum suam et dixit eis: 6« Ecce hospitium quod vobis Dominus praeparavit. 7Manete in eo secundum beneplacitum vestrum ». 8At illi gratias egerunt Deo, quia fecit misericordiam suam cum illis, et exaudivit clamorem pauperum. 9Et manserunt apud eum per dies aliquot. 10Et sic propter ipsorum verba quae audivit et exempla bona quae vidit, multa postea pauperibus est largitus.

23 1 [Licet autem sic benigne tractarentur ab isto], in tantum tamen apud [alios] homines tunc fratres viles communiter reputabantur, ut multi parvi et magni facerent eis et dicerent sicut domini servis suis. 2Et licet haberent vilissima indumenta et paupercula, plures tamen eis libenter auferebant. 3Cumque sic nudi remanerent, quia unam tantum habebant tunicam, semper tamen formam evangelicam observabant, non eam auferentibus repetentes. 4Si tamen illi pietate moti volebant restituere, recipiebant libenter.

Francis of Assisi: Early Documents, vol. 2, p. 44

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