The Assisi Compilation - 122 

great favor and consolation if you notified her about my condition. Above all, tell her to send you some cloth for a tunic of religious cloth the color of ashes, like the cloth made by Cistercian monks in the region beyond the Alps.a Have her also send some of that confection which she often made for me when I was in the City. This confection, made of almonds, sugar or honey, and other things, the Romans call mostacciolo.

That spiritual woman was a holy widow, devoted to God. She belonged to one of the more noble and wealthy families of the entire City.b Through the merits and words of blessed Francis she had obtained such grace from God that she seemed like another Magdalene, always full of tears and devotion for love of God.

After the letter was written, as dictated by the holy father, while one brother was looking for another one to deliver the letter, there was a knock at the door. When one of the brothers opened the gate, he saw Lady Jacoba who had hurried from the City to visit blessed Francis. With great joy the brother immediately went to tell blessed Francis that Lady Jacoba had come to visit him with her son and many other people. "What shall we do, Father," he said, "shall we allow her to enter and come in here?" He said this because blessed Francis a long time ago had ordered that in that place no women should enter that cloister out of respect and devotion for that place. Blessed Francis answered him: "This command need not be observed in the case of this lady whose faith and devotion made her come here from so far away." And in this way, she came in to see blessed Francis, crying many tears in his presence.

It was amazing: she brought with her shroud-cloth, that is, gray-colored cloth, for a tunic, and all the other things that were written in the letter. This made the brothers greatly marvel at the holiness of blessed Francis.

"While I was praying," Lady Jacoba told the brothers, "a voice within me said 'Go, visit your father, blessed Francis, without delay, and hurry, because if you delay long you will not find him alive.

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Compilatio Assisiensis, Fontes Franciscani, p. 1478-1479


si significaveritis ei statum meum, pro magna gratia et consolatione habebit; 3et specialiter significate ei ut mittat vobis pannum pro una tunica de panno religioso, qui colori cineris assimiletur, et est tamquam pannus quem faciunt monachi Cistercienses in ultramontanis partibus; 4mittat etiam de illa comestione, quam, pluries fecit michi, cum fui apud Urbem ». 5Illam autem comestionem vocant Romani « mortariolum »,

que fit de amigdalis et zucaro vel melle et aliis rebus. 6Erat enim illa spiritualis mulier sancta vidua et Deo devota de nobilioribus et ditioribus totius Urbis, que tantam gratiam consecuta est a Deo meritis et predicatione beati Francisci, ut videretur quasi altera Madalena, plena semper lacrimis et devotione pro amore Dei.

7Et scripta littera, sicut dixerat sanctus pater, quidam frater procurabat invenire aliquem fratrem qui portaret litteram, et statim pulsatum fuit ad portam; 8cumque aperiret ostium quidam frater, vidit dominam Iacobam, que venerat cum festinatione a de Urbe ad visitandum beatum Franciscum, 9et statim quidam, frater cum magna letitia ivit ad beatum Franciscum nuntians, qualiter domina Iacoba cum filio suo et aliis multis venerat ad visitandum ipsum, 10et ait: « Quid facimus, pater? Dimittemus ipsam intrare et venire ad te? ». 11Nam de voluntate beati Francisci statu[tu]m fuit in illo loco in antiquo tempore, propter honestatem et devotionem illius loci, ut nulla mulier deberet intrare claustrum illud. 12Et ait beatus Franciscus: « Non est observanda hec constitutio in ista domina, quam tam magna fides et devotio de longinquis partibus fecit huc venire ». 13Et sic introivit ad beatum Franciscum, spargens coram ipso multas lacrimas.

14Et mira res, quod pannum morticinum, videlicet cinerei coloris, pro tunica, et omnia que scripta erant in littera, ut mitteret, secum apportavit. 15Et plurimum admirati sunt inde fratres, considerantes sanctitatem beati Francisci.

16Immo dixit fratribus dicta domina Iacoba: « Fratres, dictum fuit michi in spiritu, cum orarem: Vade et visita patrem tuum, beatum Franciscum, et festina et noli tardare, quoniam, si multum tardaveris, non invenies ipsum vivum.

Francis of Assisi: Early Documents, vol. 2, p. 122

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