The Assisi Compilation - 162 

and flowing tears: "Father, what shall we do? Bless us and the rest of your brothers. In addition leave your brothers some remembrance of your will, so that, if the Lord wants to call you away from this world, your brothers may always keep it in their memory and say: 'Our father left these words to his sons and brothers at his death.' "

He then told them: "Call me Brother Benedict of Piratro."a He was a brother priest, discerning and holy, an elder in religion. He sometimes celebrated for blessed Francis in that cell, since, although he was sick, he always wanted, gladly and devoutly, to hear Mass whenever he was able. And when he had come, blessed Francis told him: "Write that I bless all my brothers, those who are and who will be in the religion until the end of the world."

For when the brothers gathered in chapter, it was always blessed Francis's custom in the brothers' chapters, when the brothers were called together at the end of the chapter, to bless and absolve all the brothers present and the others who were in the religion. And he would also bless all those who were to come to this religion. He would bless all the brothers in the religion and those to come, not only in chapters, but also many other times.

And blessed Francis told him: "Since I cannot speak much because of weakness and the pain of my illness, I am showing my will to my brothers briefly in these three words: as a sign of remembrance of my blessing and my testament, may they always love each other; may they always love and observe our Lady Holy Poverty; and may they always remain faithful and subject to the prelates and all the clerics of holy Mother Church."b

He used to warn the brothers to fear and beware of bad example. Furthermore he cursed all those who by their wrong and bad example caused people to blaspheme the religion and life of the brothers and the holy and good brothers, who, because of this, were ashamed and distressed.

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[HE CARRIES A BROOM TO CLEAN CHURCHES]

At one time while blessed Francis was staying at Saint Mary of the Portiuncula, and there were still only a few brothers, blessed Francis

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Compilatio Assisiensis, Fontes Franciscani, p. 1550-1552


cum multo dolore et lacrimarum effusione dixerunt ad illum: 3« Pater, quid faciemus? Benedicas nobis et ceteris fratribus tuis. 4Insuper relinque fratribus tuis aliquod memoriale tue voluntatis ut, si Dominus de hoc seculo te voluerit evocare, semper fratres tui dicere valeant et in memoria habeant: Pater noster hec verba reliquit filiis et fratribus suis in morte sua ».

5Ille autem dixit eis: « Vocate michi fratrem Benedictum de Piratro ». 6Erat ille frater sacerdos, discretus, sanctus et antiquus in Religione, qui aliquando in cella illa celebrabat beato Francisco; quoniam, licet esset infirmus, semper, cum poterat, libenter et devote missam audire volebat. 7Cumque ille venisset ad ipsum, ait illi beatus Frunciscus: « Scribe qualiter benedico cunctis fratribus meis, qui sunt in Religione et qui venturi erunt usque ad finem seculi ».

8Nam mos erat beati Francisci ut semper in capitulis fratrum, cum fratres insimul convenirent, in fine capituli benediceret et absolveret omnes fratres presentes et alios qui erant in Religione, et benedicebat etiam omnibus qui venturi erant ad Religionem istam; 9et non tantum in capitulis sed etiam multotiens benedicebat fratribus omnibus qui erant in Religione et qui venturi erant.

10Et ait illi beatus Franciscus: Quoniam propter debilitatem et dolorem infirmitatis loqui non valeo, breviter in istis tribus verbis patefacio fratribus meis voluntatem meam, 11videlicet: ut in signum memorie mee benedictionis et mei testamenti semper diligant se ad invicem, 12semper diligant et observent dominam nostram sanctam paupertatem, 13et ut semper prelatis et omnibus clericis sancte matris ecclesie fideles et subiecti existant ».

14Monebat autem ut timerent et caverent sibi fratres a malo exemplo; 15maledicebat omnes insuper, qui pravis et malis exemplis suis provocarent homines ad blasphemandum Religionem et vitam fratrum et sanctos et bonos fratres, qui inde verecundantur et affliguntur.

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1Quodam tempore, cum maneret beatus Franciscus apud ecclesiam Sancte Marie de Portiuncula et pauci adhuc essent fratres, beatus Franciscus

Francis of Assisi: Early Documents, vol. 2, p. 162

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