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 The Anonymous of Perugia - 46 

Every day they were conscientious about prayer and working with their hands to avoid all idleness, the enemy of the soul. At night, they were equally conscientious about rising in the middle of the night according to that passage of the Prophet: At midnight I rise to give you thanks and they prayed devoutly with frequent tears.

They loved one another from the heart and each one served and took care of the other, as a mother serves and cares for her son. The fire of love burned so intensely in them, that they would have willingly sacrificed their lives not only for the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, but also for one another.

26 One day, two brothers were walking along a road when suddenly a simpleton began throwing stones at them. One of them, seeing that a stone was about to strike his brother, ran directly in front of him. Because of ardent mutual love, he preferred that the stone strike him rather than his brother. They frequently did these and similar things.

They were rooted and founded in love and humility, and one would respect the other as if he were his master. Whoever among them excelled because of a position or gifts of grace, seemed even more humble and self-effacing than the others.

They all dedicated themselves wholeheartedly to obedience: the moment the one giving an order opened his mouth, their feet were ready to go, their hands set to carry it out. Whatever they were ordered, they considered to be to the Lord's will. Thus it was pleasant and easy for them to fulfill everything.

They abstained from carnal desires and, in order to avoid being judged, they judged themselves carefully.

27 If one unwittingly uttered a word that could possibly give offense to another, his conscience reproached him so much that he could find no peace until he confessed his fault. Then, lying flat on the ground, he made the other—no matter how unwilling he was—put his foot on his mouth. If the other refused to do this, then, should the one who uttered the offensive word be a prelate, he would command him to do it; otherwise he would have a prelate command him.a They did these things to rid themselves of ill will and to preserve perfect love with each other at all times. And so they strove to combat each vice with a corresponding virtue.

Whatever they had, a book or a tunic, was used in common and no one called anything his own, just as it was done in the primitive church of the Apostles. Acts 4:32

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Anonymus Perusinus, Fontes Franciscani, p. 1330-1331


2Solliciti erant cotidie in oratione et labore manuum a suarum, ut omnem otiositatem animae inimicam a se penitus effugarent. 3Noctibus vero, similiter solliciti surgere media nocte iuxta illud Prophetae: Media nocte surgebam ad confitendum tibi, orabant cum devotione multa et lacrimis frequenter.

4Amore intimo se invicem diligebant, serviebat quoque et nutriebat unus alterum, sicut mater servit et nutrit filium suum. 5Tantum ardebat in eis caritatis ignis, quod eis facile videbatur tradere corpora sua non solum pro nomine Domini nostri Iesu Christi, sed etiam unus pro altero et libenter.

26 1Quadam enim die, cum duo fratres per quandam viam transitum facerent, unum fatuum invenerunt qui in eos lapides iactabat. 2Alter autem illorum fratrum, dum in fratrem suum videret lapides iactari, accurrens et lapidum ictibus se opponens, potius voluit se percuti quam fratrem suum propter flagrantem mutuam caritatem. 3Haec ethis similia saepius faciebant.

4In caritate et humilitate redicati et fundati erant, et unus reverebatur alium quasi dominus esset suus. 5Quicumque inter eos officio vel gratia praecellebat, humilior et vilior ceteris videbatur.

6Omnes quoque se totos ad obediendum tradebant: quando aperiebatur os praecipientis, pedes suos ad ambulandum, manus quoque ad operandum continuo praeparantes. 7Quicquid paecipiebatur eis, putabant praeceptum esse secundum Domini voluntatem; et ideo suave erat eis et facile omnia adimplere.

8Abstinebant se a carnalibus desideriis, et ne iudicarentur semetipsos sollicite iudicabant.

27 1Nam si casu unus alteri diceret verbum quod forte posset ei displicere, tantum a conscientia reprehendebatur, quod non poterat quiescere donec diceret suam culpam, et prosternens se in terram, licet inviti, pedem eius super os suum faceret sibi poni. 2Et si ille nullatenus vellet ponere, si praelatus erat qui verbum dixerat praecipiebat ei hoc facere, alioquin a praelato praecipi faciebat, ut effugaretur ab eis malitia et plena semper inter eos dilectio servaretur. 3Et sic contra vitia singulas virtutes opponere satagebant.

4Quicquid habebant, librum vel tunicam, communiter utebantur, et nullus suum aliquid esse dicebat, sicut fiebat in Apostolorum Ecclesia primitiva.

Francis of Assisi: Early Documents, vol. 2, p. 46

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