The Assisi Compilation - 137 


[While this true friend of God completely despised all worldly things, he detested money above all. From the beginning of his conversion, he despised money particularly and encouraged his followers to flee from it always as from the devil himself. He gave his followers this observation: money and manure are equally worthy of love.

Now it happened one day that a layman came to pray in the church of Saint Mary of the Portiuncula and placed some money by the cross as an offering. When he left, one of the brothers simply picked it up with his hand and threw it on the windowsill. What the brother had done reached the saint, and he, seeing he had been caught, ran to ask forgiveness, threw himself to the ground, and offered himself to be whipped.

The saint rebuked him and reprimanded him severely for touching coins. He ordered him to pick up the money from the windowsill with his own mouth, take it outside the fence of that place, and with his mouth to put it on the donkey's manure pile. While that brother was gladly carrying out this command, fear filled the hearts of the rest who heard it. From then on, all of them held in even greater contempt what had been so equated with manure and were encouraged to despise it by new examples every day].


[Clothed with power this man was warmed more by divine fire on the inside than by what covered his body on the outside].


[He detested those in the Order who dressed in three layers of clothing or who wore soft clothes without necessity. As for "necessity" not based on reason but on pleasure, he declared that it was a sign of a spirit that was extinguished. "When the spirit is lukewarm," he said, "and gradually growing cold as it moves from grace, flesh and blood inevitably seek their own interests. When the soul finds no delight, what is left except for the flesh to look for some? Then the




Compilatio Assisiensis, Fontes Franciscani, p. 1503-1505


1Verum summopere amicus Dei omnia que sunt mundi despiciens, super omnia tamen exsecrabatur pecuniam. 2Unde illam a principio sue conversionis precipue vilipendit, et tamquam ipsum diabolum se sequentibus semper fugiendam innuit. 3Hec ab ipso erat solertia data suis: ut stercus et pecuniam uno amoris pretio ponderarent.

4Accidit igitur die quadam ut secularis quidam ecclesiam sancte Marie de Portiuncula oraturus intraret, qui causa oblationis pecuniam posuit iuxta crucem. 5Quam, illo recedente, frater unus simpliciter sua manu contingens in fenestram proiecit. 6Pervenit ad sanctum quod fecerat frater; deprehensum ille se videns currit ad veniam, et humo prostratus se profert ad verbera.

7Arguit illum sanctus, et de pecunia tacta durissime increpat. 8Iubet eum ore proprio de fenestra levare pecuniam, et extra septa loci ipsam ore suo super stercus ponere asininum. 9Dumque implet iussum frater ille gratulanter, timor implet corda audientia ceterorum. 10Contemnunt omnes magis de cetero sic stercori comparatum, et ad contemptum eius novis exemplis cotidie animantur.


1Indutus homo iste virtute, plus intus igne calescebat divino, quam foris corporeo tegumento.


1Ex[s]ecrabatur vestitos triplicibus, et qui, preter necessitatem, mollibus utebatur in Ordine. 2Necessitatem vero, quam non ratio sed voluptas ostentat, signum exstincti spiritus asserebat. 3 « Spiritu, inquit, tepido et pedetentim a gratia frigescente, necesse est carnem et sanguinem que sua sunt querere. 4Quid enim, ait, restat, anima non inveniente delitias, nisi ut caro convertatur ad suas?

Francis of Assisi: Early Documents, vol. 2, p. 137