The Assisi Compilation - 163 

sometimes used to go through the villages and churches in the area around the city of Assisi, proclaiming and preaching to the people that they should do penance. And he would carry a broom to sweep the churches.

For blessed Francis was very sad when he entered some church and saw that it was not clean. Therefore, after preaching to the people, at the end of the sermon he would always have all the priests who were present assembled in some remote place so he could not be overheard by secular people. He would preach to them about the salvation of souls and, in particular, that they should exercise care and concern in keeping churches clean, as well as altars and everything that pertained to the celebration of the divine mysteries.

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[BROTHER JOHN THE SIMPLE JOINS THE BROTHERS; AND HOW HE IMITATES FRANCIS]

One day blessed Francis went to a church in a village of the city of Assisi and began to sweep it. Immediately talk about this spread through that village, especially because those people enjoyed seeing and hearing him.

A man named John heard it, a man of amazing simplicity, who was ploughing in a field of his near the church, and he immediately went to him. Finding him sweeping the church, he said to him: "Brother, give me the broom because I want to help you." Taking the broom from him, he swept the rest.

When they sat down, he said to blessed Francis: "Brother, it's a long time now that I've wanted to serve God, especially after I heard talk about you and your brothers, but I did not know how to come to you. Now that it pleased God that I see you, I want to do whatever pleases you."

Considering his fervor, blessed Francis rejoiced in the Lord, especially because he then had few brothers, and because it seemed to him that, on account of his pure simplicity, he would make a good religious. So he said to him: "Brother, if you wish to belong to our life and company, you must rid yourself of all your things that you can get without scandal, and give them to the poor according to the counsel of the holy Gospel, because my brothers who were able to do so have done this."

As soon as he heard this, he immediately went into the field where he had left the oxen and, untying them, brought one of them back to blessed Francis. "Brother," he said to him, "I have served my

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Compilatio Assisiensis, Fontes Franciscani, p. 1552-1554


ibat quandoque per illas villas et ecclesias in circuitu civitatis Assisii annuntiando et predicando hominibus, ut facerent penitentiam. 2Et portabat scopam ad scopandas ecclesias.

3Nam multum dolebat beatus Franciscus, cum intraret aliquam ecclesiam et videret ipsam non mundatam, 4et propterea semper, postquam predicaverat populo, finita predicatione, faciebat congregari omnes sacerdotes, qui aderant ibi, in aliquo remoto loco, ut a secularibus non audiretur, et predicabat eis de salute animarum, 5et maxime ut curam et sollicitudinem haberent conservandi mundas ecclesias, et altaria et omnia, que pertinent ad celebranda divina mysteria.

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1Cum vero quadam die iret beatus Franciscus ad quandam ecclesiam cuiusdam ville civitatis Assisii, cepit scopare eam, et statim de ipso rumor factus est in illa villa, maxime quia libenter ab illis hominibus videbatur et audiebatur.

2Ut autem audivit quidam Iohannes nomine, vir mire simplicitatis, qui arabat in quodam suo agro prope ecclesiam illam, statim ivit ad ipsum inveniens illum scopantem ecclesiam; 3et dixit ad eum: « Frater, da michi scopam, quia volo te adiuvare » 4Et accipiens scopam ab ipso scopavit residuum.

5Et sedentibus illis dixit ille ad beatum Franciscum: « Frater, iam diu est quod habui voluntatem serviendi Deo, et maxime postquam de te et tuis fratribus rumorem audivi; sed nesciebam, qualiter ad te venirem. 6Sed postquam Domino placuit ut te viderem, volo facere quicquid tibi placuerit ».

7Beatus Franciscus considerans eius fervorem exultavit in Domino, maxime quia tunc paucos habebat fratres, et quia sibi videbatur propter eius puram simplicitatem, quod deberet esse bonus religiosus; 8qui dixit ei: « Frater, si vis esse de vita et societate nostra, oportet quod expropries te de omnibus tuis que sine scandalo habere potes, et des ea pauperibus secundum consilium sancti Evangelii, quia id fratres mei, qui potuerunt, fecerunt ».

9Quo audito statim ivit in agrum, ubi dimiserat boves, et solvit illos et duxit unum coram beato Francisco dicens ad eum: 10« Frater, tot annis servivi patri meo et omnibus de domo mea;

Francis of Assisi: Early Documents, vol. 2, p. 163

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