The Assisi Compilation - 159 

led him to see it, blessed Francis said to him: "This little cell seems too beautiful to me. But, if you want me to stay in it for a few days, have it covered inside and out with ferns and tree-branches."

That little cell was not made of stonework but of wood, but because the wood was planed, made with hatchet and axe, it seemed too beautiful to blessed Francis. The brother immediately had it changed as blessed Francis had requested.

For the more the houses and cells of the brothers were poor and religious, the more willingly he would see them and sometimes be received as a guest there. As he stayed and prayed in it for a few days, one day, outside the little cell near the place of the brothers, a brother who was at that place came to where blessed Francis was staying. Blessed Francis said to him: "Where are you coming from, brother?" He told him: "I am coming from your little cell." "Because you said it is mine," blessed Francis said, "someone else will stay in it from now on: I will not."

We who were with him often heard him repeat the saying of the holy Gospel: Foxes have dens and the birds of the air have nests; but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head.

And he would say: "When the Lord stayed in solitude where he prayed and fasted for forty days and forty nights, He did not have a cell or a house built there, but He sheltered under the rocks of the mountain." And so, after His example, he did not want to have a house or cell in this world, nor did he have one built for him. Moreover, if he ever happened to say to the brothers: "Prepare this cell this way," he would refuse afterwards to stay in it, because of that saying of the holy Gospel: "Do not be concerned."

Shortly before his death, he wanted it written in his Testament that all the cells and houses of the brothers ought to be built only of mud and wood, the better to safeguard poverty and humility.a


Once when he was in Siena for treatment of the disease of his eyes, he was staying in a cell, where after his death a chapel was built out of reverence for him. Lord Bonaventure, who had donated to the brothers the land where the brothers' place had been built, said to him: "What do you think of this place?" Blessed Francis answered




Compilatio Assisiensis, Fontes Franciscani, p. 1541-1546

4Cumque duceretur a fratre illo ad videndum eam, dixit ei beatus Franciscus: « Nimis pulchra michi videtur cellula ista. 5Sed, si vis ut maneam in ea per aliquot dies, facias fieri sibi quoddam vestimentum interius et exterius de filicibus et ramis arborum ».

6Erat enim illa cellula non murata sed de lignis facta. 7Sed quia ligna erant plana, facta cum securi et dolabro, videbatur beato Francisco nimis pulchra. 8Et statim frater ille fecit ipsam aptari, sicut dixerat beatus Franciscus.

9Nam quanto plus essent paupercule et religiose cellule et domus fratrum, tanto magis libenter eas videbat et aliquando ibi hospitabatur. 10Cumque maneret et oraret in ea per aliquot dies, quadam die extra cellulam prope locum fratrum ecce quidam frater, qui erat in illo loco, venit ubi manebat beatus Franciscus. 11Et dixit ad eum beatus Franciscus: « Unde venis, frater? ». At ille dixit ad eum: « Venio de cellula tua ». 12Dixit ad eum beatus Franciscus: « Ex quo dixisti meam esse, alius stabit deinceps in ea, et non ego ».

13Nos vero qui cum ipso fuimus, multotiens audivimus ipsum dicentem illud verbum sancti Evangelii: Vulpes foveas habent et volucres celi nidos, Filius autem hominis non habet ubi caput suum reclinet.

14Et dicebat: « Dominus quando stetit in carcere, ubi oravit et ieiunavit. XL. diebus et .XL. noctibus, non fecit ibi fieri cellam nec aliquam domum, sed sub saxo montis permansit ». 15Et ideo exemplo suo nec domum nec cellam habere voluit in hoc seculo, nec pro se fieri fecit; 16immo, si contingeret quod aliquando diceret fratribus: « Ita aptate cellam istam », nolebat in ea postea permanere propter illud verbum sancti Evangelii: Nolite solliciti esse.

17Nam circa mortem suam in Testamento suo scribi voluit, ut omnes celle et domus fratrum non deberent construi nisi ex luto et lignis, ad conservandam melius paupertatem et humilitatem.


1Unde quodam tempore, cum esset apud Senas pro infirmitate oculorum et maneret in cella, ubi post mortem eius oratorium pro ipsius reverentia fuit hedificatum, dixit ad eum dominus Bonaventura, qui [terram] dederat fratribus, ubi locus fratrum fuit hedificatus: « Quid tibi videturde loco isto? ». 2Respondit ei beatus Franciscus:

Francis of Assisi: Early Documents, vol. 2, p. 159