The Assisi Compilation - 134 

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[HIS REFUSAL TO REQUEST PRIVILEGES FROM THE ROMAN CURIA]

Some of the brothers told blessed Francis: "Father, don't you see that sometimes bishops do not permit us to preach, allowing us to remain idle in an area for many days before we can preach to the people? It would be better if you arranged for the brothers to get a privilege from the Lord Pope: it would be the salvation of souls."

He answered them with a stern rebuke, telling them: "You, Lesser Brothers, you do not know the will of God, and will not allow me to convert the whole world as God wills. For I want to convert the prelates first by humility and reverence. Then, when they see your holy life and your reverence for them, they will ask you to preach and convert the people. These will attract the people to you far better than the privileges you want, which would lead you to pride. And if you are free of all avarice, and lead the people to give the churches their due, they will ask you to hear the confessions of their people. Although you should not be concerned about this, for if they are converted, they will easily find confessors.

For my part, I want only this privilege from the Lord: not to have any privilege from any human being, except to show reverence to all, and, by the obedience of the holy Rule, to convert everyone more by example than by word."a

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[CHRIST COMPLAINS TO BROTHER LEO
ABOUT THE INGRATITUDE OF THE] BROTHERS

One time the Lord Jesus Christ said to Brother Leo, the companion of blessed Francis: "I have a complaint about the brothers." "About what, Lord?" Brother Leo replied. And the Lord said: "About three things. They do not recognize My gifts which, as you know, I generously bestow on them daily, since they neither sow nor reap. All day long they are idle and complain. And they often provoke one another to anger, and do not return to love, and do not pardon the injury they receive."

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Compilatio Assisiensis, Fontes Franciscani, p. 1499-1500


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1Item aliqui fratres dixerunt beato Francisco: « Pater, nonne vides quod aliquando episcopi non permittunt nos predicare, et pluribus diebus permittunt nos stare in una terra otiosos, antequam possimus populo predicare? 2Et melius esset quod tu impetrares, quod fratres haberent privilegium a domino papa, et esset salus animarum ».

3Quibus ipse respondit cum magna reprehesione dicens: « Vos, Fratres Minores, non cognoscitis voluntatem Dei, et non permittitis me convertere totum mundum, sicut Deus vult. 4Nam ego volo per humilitatem et reverentiam primo convertere prelatos, et cum ipsi viderint sanctam vitam vestram et reverentiam ad eos, ipsi rogabunt vos, quod predicetis et convertatis populum. 5Et ipsum vocabunt vobis melius, quam privilegia, que vultis, que vos ducent ad superbiam. 6Et si fueritis separati ab omni avaritia et inducatis populum quod reddant ecclesiis iura sua, ipsi rogabunt vos quod audiatis confessionem populi sui; 7licet de hoc non debeatis curare, quia, si conversi fuerint, bene invenient confessores.

8Ego pro me volo hoc privilegium a Domino, nullum scilicet ab homine habere privilegium, nisi omnibus reverentiam facere et per obedientiam sancte Regule, exemplo plus quam verbo convertere universos ».

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1Quadam vice dixit Dominus Iesus Christus fratri Leoni socio beati Francisci: « Ego lamentor de fratribus ». 2Cui respondit frater Leo: « De quibus, Domine? ». 3Et Dominus dixit: « De tribus: scilicet quia non recognoscunt beneficia mea, que largiter, ut scis, impendo eis cotidie, cum [non] seminent neque metant .4Et quia tota die murmurant et otiosi, sunt; 5et sepe ad iram se provocant ad invicem et ad amorem non redeunt et non parcunt iniuriam quam recipiunt ».

Francis of Assisi: Early Documents, vol. 2, p. 134

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