The Assisi Compilation - 156 

holiness with constant prayer day and night and by constant silence. And if, at times, they spoke after the time established for silence, they discussed with the greatest devotion and decorum matters pertaining to the praise of God and the salvation of souls. If it happened, and it rarely did, that someone began to utter useless or idle words, immediately he was corrected by another. They used to mortify the flesh not only by fasting, but also by many vigils, by cold, nakedness and manual labor. In order not to remain idle, they very frequently went and helped poor people in their fields, and sometimes these people would give them some bread for the love of God.

"By these and other virtues, they used to sanctify themselves and the place; and others who came after them for a long time did the same, although not as much. Afterwards, however, a great number of brothers and others would come to that place more than was usual, especially when all the brothers of the religion had to visit there, as well as those who intended to join the religion. Moreover, the brothers are colder in prayer and other good works than in the past, and are more careless about exchanging idle and useless words and even worldly news. Therefore, the brothers who stay there and other religious do not hold that place in such great reverence and devotion as is proper and as I would wish.

"Therefore I want it always to be under the jurisdiction of the general minister, that he may show greater concern and care in providing for it, especially in placing a good and holy family there. The clerics should be chosen from among the holiest and most upright brothers of the entire religion and who know how to say the office best. In this way, not only other people, but also the brothers will gladly listen to them with great devotion. And some holy lay brothers, discerning and upright men, should also be chosen, who may serve them.

"I also wish that none of the brothers or any other person enter that place except the general minister and the brothers who serve him. And they may not speak to anyone except the brothers who serve them and to the minister when he visits them.

"I likewise want the lay brothers who serve them to be bound not to pass on to them any word or news of the world which they have heard which is not useful to the soul. And that is the reason why I particularly want no one else to enter that place, so that they may better preserve their purity and holiness, and not exchange in that place any idle words, useless to the soul. Rather, the entire place should be kept and held pure and holy in hymns and praises of the Lord. And when any of these brothers passes, let the general minister have another holy brother come there, no matter where he is staying,

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Compilatio Assisiensis, Fontes Franciscani, p. 1535-1537


ipsi tamen conservabant sanctitatem eius cum continua oratione die noctuque et continuo silentio, 32et si aliquando loquerentur post terminum et constitutionem silentii, cum maxima devotione et honestate, que ad laudem Dei et animarum salutem pertinebant, tractabant; 33et si contingeret, quod raro fiebat, ut aliquis aliqua verba inutilia vel otiosa inciperet loqui, statim ab alio corrigebatur. 34Macerabant quidem carnem non solum ieiunio, sed vigiliis multis, frigore et nuditate et labore manuum suarum. 35Multotiens enim, ut non starent otiosi, ibant et iuvabant pauperes homines in agris eorum, et ipsi postea aliquando dabant eis de pane amore Dei ».

36« Et hiis et aliis virtutibus sanctificabant seipsos et locum, et alii qui venerunt post ipsos, licet non tantum, fecerunt similiter usque ad longum tempus ». 37 « Postea vero occasione multorum fratrum et aliorum convenientium in loco illo magis quam fuerat consuetum, maxime quia omnes fratres de Religione oportebat recurrere illuc et eos qui volebant intrare Religionem similiter, 38etiam quia fratres sunt magis frigidi in oratione et aliis bonis operibus et magis dissoluti ad proferendum verba otiosa m et inutilia ac etiam nova huius seculi quam solebant, locus ille a fratribus qui manent ibi et ab aliis religiosis non habetur in tanta reverentia et devotione sicut convenit et sicut vellem ».

39« Volo igitur quod semper sit sub potestate generalis ministri ut inde curam et sollicitudinem maiorem habeat providendi ibi, specialiter ut ponat ibi bonam et sanctam familiam. 40Clerici eligantur de sanctioribus et magis honestis fratribus et qui sciant melius dicere officium qui sint in tota Religione, ut non solum alii homines, sed etiam fratres cum magna devotione libenter audiant illos. 41De fratribus et laicis sanctis, hominibus discretis et honestis, eligantur qui serviant illis.

42« Volo etiam ut nullus fratrum nec aliqua persona intret in illum locum nisi generalis minister et fratres qui serviunt illis. 43Et ipsi non loquantur cum aliqua persona nisi cum fratribus qui serviunt illis et cum ministro, quando visitaret eos.

44 « Volo similiter ut fratres laici qui serviunt illis teneantur ut nulla verba vel nova huius seculi que audierunt, que non essent utilia anime, ad illos referant. 45Et propterea specialiter volo ut nullus intret in illum locum, ut ipsi conservent puritatem et sanctitatem suam melius, 46et quod in illo loco aliqua verba vana et inutilia anime [non] proferantur, sed totus servetur et teneatur purus et sanctus in hymnis et laudibus Domini. 47Et cum aliquis istorum fratrum [migraverit, ubicumque manebit alius frater sanctus, generalis minister faciat ipsum venire illuc, loco illius qui mortuus fuerit.

Francis of Assisi: Early Documents, vol. 2, p. 156

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