The Assisi Compilation - 138 

base instinct covers itself with the excuse of necessity, and the mind of the flesh forms the conscience."

And he added:]a


["Let's say one of my brothers encounters a real necessity: he is affected by some need. If he rushes to satisfy it, what reward will he get? He found an occasion for merit, but clearly showed that he did not like it." With these and similar words he pierced those who would not tolerate necessity. He taught that not bearing patiently with need is the same as returning to Egypt. He did not want the brothers to have more than two tunics under any circumstances, and these he allowed to be mended with patches sewn on them. He ordered the brothers to shun fine fabrics, and those who acted to the contrary he rebuked publicly with biting words. To confound them by his example, he sewed sackcloth on his own rough tunic and at his death he asked that the tunic for his funeral be covered in cheap sackcloth. But he allowed brothers pressed by illness or other necessity to wear a soft tunic next to the skin, as long as rough and cheap clothing was kept on the outside. For he said: "A time will come when strictness will be relaxed, and tepidity will hold such sway, that sons of a poor father will not be the least ashamed to wear even velvet cloth, just changing the color].b


[In Celano at winter time, Saint Francis was wearing a piece of folded cloth as a cloak, which a friend of the brothers had lent him. While he was at the palace of the bishop of the Marsi,c an old woman came up to him begging for alms. Acts 3:2 He quickly unfastened the cloth from his neck, and, although it belonged to someone else, he gave it to the




Compilatio Assisiensis, Fontes Franciscani, p. 1505-1506

5Et tunc animalis appetitus necessitatis articulum palliat, tunc sensus carnis conscientiam format ».



1Adsit fratri meo vera necessitas, quevis eum indigentia tangat: si satisfacere properat eamque a se longe repellere, quid mercedis accipiet? 2Incidit quidem occasio meriti, sed displicuisse sibi studiose probavit ». 3Hiis et similibus ignotos necessitatibus configebat, cum ipsas patienter non ferre, nichil aliud sit quam Egyptum repetere. 4Denique nulla vult occasione plures duabus tunicas fratres habere, quas tamen consutis petiis resarcire concedit. 5Exquisitos pannos horrere iubet et contraria facientes acerrime coram omnibus mordet; atque ut tales suo exemplo confunderet, super tunicam propriam rudem consuit saccum. 6In morte etiam exequiale[m] tunicam [vili sacco petiit operiri . 7Fratribus autem quos urgeret infirmitas, seu necessitas alia, mollem subtus ad carnem tunicam] indulgebat, ita tamen quod foris in habitu asperitas et vilitas servaretur. 8Dicebat enim: « Tantum adhuc laxabitur rigor, dominabitur tepor, quod filii pauperis patris et[iam] scarulaticos portare, colore solum mutato, minime verebuntur ».


1Accidit apud Celanum tempore hiemali, ut sanctus Franciscus pannum in modum mantelli haberet plicatum, quem quidam amicus fratrum commodaverat ei. 2Et cum esset in palatio episcopi Marsicani, occurrit ei vetula quedam helemosinam petens. 3Confestim pannum solvit a collo et, licet alienum, vetule pauperi donat dicens:

Francis of Assisi: Early Documents, vol. 2, p. 138