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 The Assisi Compilation - 157 

to replace the one who died. If some day the brothers and the places where they stay stray from the purity and holiness and decency befitting them, I want this place to be a mirror and a good example for the entire religion, a candelabra before the throne of God and before the blessed Virgin. Thus may the Lord have mercy on the faults and failings of the brothers and always preserve and protect this religion, His little plant."a

One time, close to a chapter that was to be held—which in those days was held annually at Saint Mary of the Portiuncula—the people of Assisi considered that, by the Lord's grace, the brothers had already increased and were increasing daily. Yet, especially when they all assembled there for a chapter, they had nothing but a poor, small hut covered with straw, and its walls were built with branches and mud, as the brothers had built when they first came to stay there. After a general meeting, within a few days, with haste and great devotion, they built there a large house with stone-and-mortar walls without the consent of blessed Francis while he was away.

When blessed Francis returned from another region and came to the chapter, and saw that house built there, he was amazed. He considered that, seeing this house, the brothers would build or have built large houses in the places where they now stayed or where they would stay in the future. And especially because he wanted this place always to be a model and example for all the places of the brothers, before the chapter ended he got up one day, climbed onto the roof of that house, and ordered the brothers to climb up. And, intending to destroy the house, he, along with the brothers, began to throw the tiles covering it to the ground.

The knights of Assisi saw this, as well as others who were there on behalf of the city's Commune to protect that place from secular people and outsiders who were outside the place, arriving from all over to see the brothers' chapter. They saw that blessed Francis and the other brothers wanted to destroy that house. They immediately approached them and said to blessed Francis: "Brother, this house belongs to the Commune of Assisi and we are here on behalf of the same Commune, and we're telling you not to destroy our house." "If the house belongs to you," answered blessed Francis, "I don't want to touch it." He and the brothers who were with him immediately came down. That is why for a long time the people of the city of Assisi

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Compilatio Assisiensis, Fontes Franciscani, p. 1537-1540


47Et cum aliquis istorum fratrum [migraverit, ubicumque manebit alius frater sanctus, generalis minister faciat ipsum venire illuc, loco illius qui mortuus fuerit. 48Quoniam si fratres et loca ipsorum ubi manent a puritate et sanctitate et honestate que convenit aliquo tempore declinaverint, iste locus volo quod sit speculum et bonum exemplum totius Religionis et quoddam candelabrum ante thronum Dei et ante beatam Virginem, per quod Dominus propitietur defectibus et culpis fratrum et conservet semper et protegat Religionem et plantulam suam. »].

49 [Quodam tempore, prope capitulum quod tunc debebat fieri, quod et illis temporibus omni anno fiebat apud Sanctam Mariam de Portiuncula, 50considerans populus Assisii quod fratres essent gratia Domini iam multiplicati, et cotidie multiplicabantur, 51et quod, maxime cum convenirent ibi omnes ad capitulum, non haberent nisi quandam pauperculam et parvam casinam coopertam de palea, et parietes erant constructi ex vigminibus et luto, sicut fratres fecerant primo quando venerant illuc ad manendum, 52habito concilio generali, in paucis diebus cum festinatione et magna devotione fecerunt ibi magnam domum ex lapidibus et calce muratam, sine consensu beati Francisci et ipso absente.

53Cumque reverteretur beatus Franciscus de quadam provincia et veniret ad capitulum et vidisset illam domum constructam ibi, miratus est inde. 54Et considerans quod, occasione illius domus, fratres in locis, [in] quibus morabantur et erant moraturi, hedificarent vel facerent hedificari magnas domos, 55et maxime quia volebat quod semper ille locus esset forma et exemplum omnium locorum fratrum, antequam finiretur capitulum, surrexit quadam die et ascendit super tectum illius domus et precepit fratribus ut ascenderent, 56et cepit una cum fratribus proicere in terram lastas ex quibus erat cooperta, volens destruere domum.

57Videntes quidam milites Assisii et alii, qui erant ibi pro communitate eiusdem civitatis ad custodiendum illum [locum] pro secularibus et forensibus, qui erant extra locum in maxima quantitate ex omni parte congregati ad videndum capitulum fratrum, quod beatus Franciscus et alii fratres volebant dissipare domum illam, statim iverunt ad ipsos; 58qui dixerunt beato Francisco: « [Frater], ista domus est communitatis Assisii, et nos sumus hic pro ipsa communitate, unde dicimus tibi quod non destruas domum nostram ». 59Dixit beatus Franciscus: « Ergo si vestra est domus, nolo tangere illam ». 60Et statim descendit de ea et alii fratres qui cum ipso erant descenderunt. 61Quapropter populus civitatis Assisii per longum tempus omni anno constituit ut, quicumque esset illorum potestas teneretur,

Francis of Assisi: Early Documents, vol. 2, p. 157

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