The Assisi Compilation - 132 

Then blessed Francis turned his face to heaven and spoke to Christ in this way: "Lord! Didn't I tell you they wouldn't believe you?" The voice of Christ was then heard in the air, saying "Francis, nothing of yours is in the Rule: whatever is there is all mine. And I want the Rule observed in this way: to the letter, to the letter, to the letter, and without a gloss, without a gloss, without a gloss."a And He added: "I know how much human weakness is capable of, and how much I want to help them. Those who refuse to observe it should leave the Order." Then blessed Francis turned to the brothers and said: "Did you hear? Did you hear? Do you want me to have you told again?" Then the ministers, confused and blaming themselves, departed.

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[HIS RESPONSE TO CARDINAL HUGOLINO AND TO THE BROTHERS ABOUT TAKING AN EXISTING MONASTIC RULE]

When blessed Francis was at the general chapter called the Chapter of Mats, held at Saint Mary of the Portiuncula, there were five thousand brothers present. Many wise and learned brothers told the Lord Cardinal, who later became Pope Gregory, who was present at the chapter, that he should persuade blessed Francis to follow the advice of those same wise brothers and allow himself to be guided by them for the time being. They cited the Rule of blessed Benedict, of blessed Augustine, and of blessed Bernard, which teach how to live in such order in such a way.b

Then blessed Francis, on hearing the cardinal's advice about this, took him by the hand and led him to the brothers assembled in chapter, and spoke to the brothers in this way: "My brothers! My brothers! God has called me by the way of simplicity and showed me the

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Compilatio Assisiensis, Fontes Franciscani, p. 1496-1497


10Tunc beatus Franciscus vertit faciem suam versus celum et loquebatur sic Christo: « Domine, nonne bene dixi, quod non crederent tibi? ». 11Tunc audita est vox in aëre Christi respondentis: « Francisce, nichil est in Regula de tuo, sed totum est meum quicquid est ibi. 12Et volo quod Regula sic observetur ad litteram, ad litteram, ad litteram, et sine glossa, et sine glossa, et sine glossa ». 13Et addidit: « Ego scio quantum potest humana infirmitas, et quantum volo eos iuvare. 14Qui nolunt eam servare, exeant de Ordine ». 15Tunc beatus Franciscus vertit se ad fratres illos et dixit eis: « Audistis? audistis? vultis quod iterum faciam vobis dici? ». 16Tunc ministri illi confusi et se inculpantes recesserunt.

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1Dum beatus Franciscus esset in capitulo generali apud sanctam Mariam de Portiuncula, quod dictum est capitulum sestoriorum et fuerunt ibi quinque milia fratres, 2quamplures fratres sapientes et in scientia docti, ad dominum Cardinalem, qui fuit postea papa Gregorius, qui presens in capitulo erat, dixerunt quod suaderet beato Francisco, 3quod sequeretur consilia dictorum fratrum sapientium et permitteret se interdum duci ab eis, allegantes Regulam beati Benedieti, beati Augustini et beati Bernardi, que docent sic et sic ordinate vivere.

4Tunc beatus Franciscus, audita monitione Cardinalis super hoc, cepit eum per manum et duxit eum ad fratres congregatos in capitulo et locutus est sic fratribus:

Francis of Assisi: Early Documents, vol. 2, p. 132

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