The Assisi Compilation - 149 

kind enough to give him the cord he had tied around him. Francis was slow to do this, refusing out of humility what the other was requesting out of charity. At last the happy devotion of the petitioner won out, and he devoutly put on the gift under his inner tunic. Finally they clasped hands and commended themselves to each other with great sweetness. And so one saint said to the other: "Brother Francis, I wish your Order and mine might become one, so we could share the same form of life in the Church."

At last, when they had parted from each other, Saint Dominic said to the many bystanders: "In truth I tell you, the other religious should follow this holy man Francis, as his holiness is so perfect"].

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[HE EATS WITH A BROTHER WHO CLAIMS HE IS DYING OF HUNGER;
AUSTERE WITH HIMSELF, HE WAS COMPASSIONATE WITH OTHERS]

One time in the very beginning, that is, at the time when blessed Francis began to have brothers, he was staying with them at Rivo Torto. One night, around midnight, when they were all asleep in their beds, one of the brothers cried out, saying: "I'm dying! I'm dying!" Startled and frightened all the brothers woke up.

Getting up, blessed Francis said: "Brothers, get up and light a lamp." After the lamp was lit, blessed Francis said: "Who was it who said, 'I'm dying?' "

"I'm the one," the brother answered.

"What's the matter, brother?" blessed Francis said to him. 'Why are you dying?"

"I'm dying of hunger," he answered.

So that that brother would not be ashamed to eat alone, blessed Francis, a man of great charity and discernment, immediately had the table set and they all ate together with him. This brother, as well as the others, were newly converted to the Lord and afflicted their bodies excessively.

After the meal, blessed Francis said to the other brothers: "My brothers, I say that each of you must consider his own constitution, because, although one of you may be sustained with less food than another, I still do not want one who needs more food to try imitating him in this. Rather, considering his constitution, he should provide his body with what it needs. Just as we must beware of overindulgence in eating, which harms body and soul, so we must beware of excessive abstinence even more, because the Lord desires mercy and not sacrifice."

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Compilatio Assisiensis, Fontes Franciscani, p. 1522-1524


ut sibi cordam, qua cingebatur dignaretur concedere. 15Lentus ad hoc fuit beatus Franciscus, eadem humilitate qua ille caritate poscebat. 16Vicit tamen felix postulantis devotio, et concessam sub inferiori tunica devotissime cinxit. 17Tandem manus inter manus ponuntur, et mutue recommendationes dulcissime fiunt. 18Dixit sanctus sancto: « Vellem, frater Francisce, unam fieri Religionem tuam et meam, et in Ecclesia pari forma nos vivere ».

19Demum cum abscesserunt, dixit beatus Dominicus pluribus qui tune aderant: « In veritate dico vobis, sanctum virum Franciscum ceteri religiosi sequi deberent, tanta est sue sanctitatis perfectio ».

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1Quodam tempore in primordio, scilicet tempore quo beatus Franciscus cepit habere fratres, manebat cum illis apud Rigum Tortum. 2Dum quadam nocte, circa medium, omnes quiescerent in lectulis suis, exclamavit unus ex fratribus dicens: « Morior, morior! ». 3Et stupefacti fratres et territi omnes evigilaverunt.

4Exurgens beatus Franciscus dixit: « Surgite, fratres, et accendite lumen ». 5Et accenso lumine dixit beatus Franciscus: « Quis est ille qui dixit: morior? ».

6Ille autem frater dixit: « Ego sum ».

7Et dixit ad eum beatus Franciscus: « Quid habes, frater? Quomodo morieris? ».

8At ille: « Morior fame ».

9Beatus Franciscus, sicut homo plenus caritate et discretione, ut non verecundaretur frater ille solus comedere, statim fecit apponi mensam, et comederunt omnes pariter cum illo. 10Nam noviter ille et alii conversi erant ad Dominum et ultra modum affligebant corpora sua.

11Et post comestionem dixit beatus Franciscus ceteris fratribus: « Fratres mei, ita dico vobis quod unusquisque consideret naturam suam; 12quia, licet aliquis ex vobis sustentari valeat pauciori cibo quam alius, nolo tamen quod habundantiori cibo indigens illum in hoc imitari nitatur; sed naturam suam considerans, exhibeat corpori suo necessitatem suam. 13Sicut enim a superfluitate comestionis, que obest corpori et anime tenemur nobis cavere, ita a nimia abstinentia, immo magis, quoniam Dominus misericordiam vult et non sacrificium ».

Francis of Assisi: Early Documents, vol. 2, p. 149

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