The Assisi Compilation - 139 

poor old woman, saying: "Go and make yourself a tunic; you really need it."

The old woman laughed; she was stunned—I don't know if it was out of fear or joy—and took the piece of cloth from his hands. She ran off quickly, so that delay might not bring the danger of having to give it back, and cut it with scissors. But when she saw that the cut cloth would not be enough for a tunic, she returned to the saint, knowing his earlier kindness to a degree,a and showed him that the material was not enough. The saint turned his eyes on his companion, who had just the same cloth covering his back. "Brother," he said, "do you hear what this old woman is saying? For the love of God, let us bear with the cold! Give the poor woman the cloth so she can finish her tunic." He gave his; the companion offered his as well; and both were left naked, so the old woman could be clothed].


[Another time, when he was coming back from Siena, he met a poor man, and said to his companion: "We must give back to this poor man the mantle that is his. We accepted it on loan until we should happen to find someone poorer than we are." The companion, seeing the need of his pious father, stubbornly objected that he should not provide for someone else by neglecting himself. But he said to him: "I do not want to be a thief; Jn 12:6 we will be accused of theft if we do not give to someone in greater need." So his companion gave in, and he gave up the mantle].


[A similar thing happened at "Le Celle" of Cortona.b Blessed Francis was wearing a new mantle that the brothers had gone to some trouble to find for him. A poor man came to the place weeping for his dead wife and his poor little family that was left desolate. The




Compilatio Assisiensis, Fontes Franciscani, p. 1506-1508

vetule pauperi donat dicens: « Vade, fac tibi tunicam, quoniam satis eges ».

4Arridet vetula et stupefacta, timore nescio an gaudio, pannum sumit e manibus. 5Currit velocius, et ne mora periculum repetitionis trahat, forficibus subiicit. 6Cum autem inveniret precisum pannum non sufficere tunice, primam benignitatem ex parte experta, redit ad sanctum, indicans in panno defectum. 7Vertit sanctus ad socium oculos, qui tantundem pannum gerebat ad dorsum: « Audis, inquit, frater, quid hec paupercula dicit? 8Amore Domini toleremus algorem, et da paupercule pannum ut tunicam compleat ». 9Dederat ipse, donat et socius, et uterque nudus remanet ut vetula vestiatur.


1Alio tempore, cum reverteretur de Senis, pauperem quendam obvium habuit dixitque socio: « Oportet, ut reddamus mantellum pauperculo cuius est. 2Mutuo accepimus a ipsum donec pauperiorem invenire contingeret ». 3Socius considerans pii patris necessitatem pertinaciter obsistebat, ne provideret alii, se neglecto. 4Cui sanctus: « Ego fur esse nolo. Pro furto nobis imputaretur, si non daremus magis egenti ». 5Destitit ille, tradidit iste mantellum.


1Simile accidit apud Cellam de Cortona. 2Portabat beatus Franciscus novum mantellum, quem pro ipso fratres studiose quesierant. 3Venit pauper ad locum, uxorem mortuam plorans et familiam pauperculam derelictam. 4Cui sanctus:

Francis of Assisi: Early Documents, vol. 2, p. 139