The Assisi Compilation - 147 

martyrdom, he held the Rule in his uplifted hands, and kneeling humbly, said to his companion: "Dear brother I proclaim myself guilty before the eye's of Majesty Is 3:8 of everything I ever did against this holy Rule!" The stroke of the sword followed this short confession, and with his martyrdom he ended his life, and afterwards shone with signs and wonders. 2 Cor 12:12 This brother had entered the Order so young that he could hardly bear the Rule's fasting, yet even as a boy he wore a harness next to his skin.

Oh happy child, who began happily to end even happier!].

[47]
[THE BROTHERS AND STUDY]

[It grieved] the blessed Father [when brothers sought learning while neglecting virtue, especially if they did not remain in that calling in which they were first called. He said: "Those brothers of mine who are led by curiosity for knowledge will find themselves empty-handed Sir 35:4 on the day of reckoning. I would prefer that they grow strong in virtue, so that when the times of tribulation arrive they may have the Lord with them in their distress. For," he said, "a tribulation is approaching, when books, useful for nothing, shall be thrown into cupboards and closets!"

He did not say these things out of dislike for the study of Scriptures, but to draw all of them back from excessive concern for learning, because he preferred that they be good through charity rather than be dilettantes through curiosity.

Besides, he could smell in the air that a time was coming, and not too far away, when he knew learning would be an occasion of ruin. After his death he appeared in a vision to one of the companions who was once tending toward preaching, and he forbade it, commanding him to walk on the way of simplicity].

[48]
[HE DETESTED LAZINESS AND WANTED ALL THE BROTHERS TO WORK]

[He used to say that the lukewarm who do not apply themselves constantly to some work, would quickly be vomited out of the Lord's mouth. No idler could appear in his presence without feeling the sharp bite of his criticism. This exemplar of every perfection always worked, and worked with his hands, not allowing the great gift of time to go to waste. And so he would often say: "I want all my brothers to work and keep busy, and those who have no skills to learn

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Compilatio Assisiensis, Fontes Franciscani, p. 1519-1520


6Nam cum a Sarracenis ad martyrium peteretur, summis manibus Regulam tenens, genibus humiliter incurvatis, socio dixit: 7« De omnibus que contra istam Regulam feci, frater carissime, ante oculos maiestatis et coram te, culpabilem me proclamo ». 8Successit brevi confessioni gladius, quo martyrio vitam finivit, signis et prodigiis postmodum claruit. 9Hic iuvenculus intraverat Ordinem adeo ut ieiunium regulare ferre vix posset, cum tamen loricam ad carnem sic puerulus deferebat.

10Felix puer, qui feliciter incepit, ut felicius consummaret.

[47]

1Dolebat multum beatus pater si, virtute neglecta, scientia quereretur, presertim si non in ea vocatione quisque persisteret, in qua vocatus a principio fuerit. 2« Fratres, ait, mei, qui scientie curiositate ducuntur, in die tribulationis manus. invenient vacuas. 3Vellem eos magis roborari virtutibus, ut, cum tempora tribulationis invenirent, secum haberent in angustia Dominum. 4Nam et ventura est, inquit, tribulatio e qua libri ad nichilum utiles in fenestris proiciantur et latebris ».

5Non hec dicebat quod Scripture studia displicerent, sed quo a superflua cura discendi universos retraheret, et quosque magis caritate bonos, quam curiositate sciolos esse vellet.

6Preodorabatur etiam tempora non longe ventura, in quibus occasionem ruine fore scientiam sciret. 7Quendam sociorum eius aliquando predicationibus intendentem, post mortem in visione apparens, prohibuit, viamque simplicitatis incedere iussit.

[48]

1Tepidos nulli se negotio familiariter applicantes cito ex ore Domini evomendo a dicebat. 2Nullus coram eo comparere poterat otiosus, quin mordaci dente eum corriperet. 3Siquidem omnis ipse perfectionis exemplar laborabat et operabatur manibus suis, nichil permittens effluere de optimo temporis dono. 4Dixit autem aliquando: « Volo omnes fratres meos laborare et exercitari, et eos qui nesciunt aliquas artes addiscere,

Francis of Assisi: Early Documents, vol. 2, p. 147

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