The Assisi Compilation - 144 

unwilling, with holy kisses. The saint rejoiced over such behavior, when he heard the examples of holiness that his sons themselves produced, and he would heap blessings worthy of full acceptance on those brothers, who, by word or deed, led sinners to the love of Christ. Zeal for souls, which filled him completely, made him want his sons to resemble him as a true likeness].

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[A DESCRIPTION OF THE GENERAL MINISTER]

[As he neared the end of his call to the Lord, a brother] said to him: ["Father, you will pass on, and the family of your followers will be left behind in this vale of tears. Point out someone in the Order, if you know one, on whom your spirit may rest, and on whom the weight of the general ministry may safely be laid." Saint Francis, drawing a sigh with every word, replied as follows: "Son, I find no one adequate to be the leader of such a varied army, or the shepherd of such a widespread flock. But I would like to paint one for you to show clearly what kind of person the father of this family should be.] ["He must be a person of very dignified life, of great discernment, and of praiseworthy reputation. He must be without personal favorites, lest by loving some more than others, he create scandal for all. He must be a committed friend of holy prayer, who can distribute some hours for his soul and others for the flock entrusted to him. He must put the sacrament of the Mass first, early in the morning, and with prolonged devotion commend himself and his flock to divine protection.

"After prayer, he must make himself available for all to pick at him, and he should respond to all and provide for all with meekness. He] is [someone who does not create sordid favoritism toward persons, but will take as much care of the lesser and simple brothers as of the learned and greater ones. Even if he should be allowed to excel in gifts of learning, he should all the more bear in his behavior the image of holy simplicity and nourish this virtue. He should loathe money, the principal corrupter of our profession and perfection. As the head of] our [religion, offering himself to others as someone to be imitated, he must never engage in the abuse of using any money pouch."]

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Compilatio Assisiensis, Fontes Franciscani, p. 1514-1515


lesi pedem vel inviti beatis osculis demulceret. 8Exultabat sanctus in talibus cum suos filios audiebat ex se ipsis exempla sanctitatis educere, benedictionibus omni acceptione dignissimis fratres illos accumulans, qui verbo vel opere ad Christi amorem inducerent peccatores. 9Animarum zelo, quo perfecte repletus erat, volebat sibi filios vera similitudine respondere.

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1Prope finem vocationis eius ad Dominum, dixit ei quidam frater: « Pater, tu transibis et familia te secuta in valle lacrimarum a relinquitur. 2Innue aliquem si cognoscis in Ordine, in quo tuus animus conquiescat, cui generalis ministerii pondus secure possit imponi ». 3Respondit sanctus Franciscus, induens cuncta verba suspiriis: « Tam multimodi exercitus ducem, tam ampli gregis pastorem nullium, fili, sufficientem intueor. 4Sed volo vobis unum depingere, in quo reluceat qualis esse debeat huius familie pater ».

5« Homo, inquit, debet esse vite gravissime, discretionis magne, fame laudabilis. 6Homo qui privatis amoribus careat, ne[dum] in parte plus diligit, in toto scandalum generet. 7Homo cui sancte orationis studium sit amicum, qui certas horas anime, certas gregi sibi commisso distribuat. 8Nam primo mane missarum sacramenta debet premittere, et longa devotione se ipsum et gregem divino tutamini commendare.

9Post orationem vero se ipsum, inquit, in publico statuat ab omnibus depilandum, omnibus responsurum, omnibus, cum mansuetudine proivisurum. 10Homo qui, personarum acceptione, sordidum non faciat angulum, apud quem nunorum et simplicium non minus cura vigeat, quam sapientium et maiorum. 11Homo [cui] si concessum est litterature dono precellere, plus tamen in moribus pie simplicitatis imaginem ferat, foveatque virtutem. 12Homo qui exsecretur pecuniam, nostre professionis et perfectionis precipuam [corruptelam] quique nostre Religionis caput, imitandum se ceteris prebens, nullis unquam loculis abutatur ».

Francis of Assisi: Early Documents, vol. 2, p. 144

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