The Assisi Compilation - 166 

he happened to hear in spirit that saying of the holy Gospel: "If you have faith like a mustard seed, and you tell that mountain to move from its place and move to another place, it will happen." Saint Francis replied: "What is that mountain?" He was told: "That mountain is your temptation." "In that case, Lord," said blessed Francis, "be it done to me as you have said."

Immediately he was freed in such a way that it seemed to him that he never had that temptation.

[64]
[HE CRITICIZES BROTHER JAMES THE SIMPLE
AND AS A PENANCE EATS WITH A LEPER]

Once when blessed Francis had returned to Saint Mary of the Portiuncula, he found there Brother James the Simple with a leper covered with sores who had come there that day. The holy father had entrusted this leper to him, and especially all the other lepers who had severe sores. For in those days, the brothers stayed in the leper hospitals. That Brother James was like the doctor for those with severe sores, and he gladly touched, changed, and treated their wounds.

As if reproving Brother James, blessed Francis told him: "You should not take our Christian brothers about in this way since it is not right for you or for them." Blessed Francis used to call lepers "Christian brothers."

Although he was pleased that Brother James helped and served them, the holy father said this because he did not want him to take those with severe sores outside the hospital. This was especially because Brother James was very simple, and he often went with a leper to the church of Saint Mary, and especially because people usually abhorred lepers who had severe sores.

After he said these things, blessed Francis immediately reproached himself, and he told his fault to Brother Peter of Catanio, who was then general minister, especially because blessed Francis believed that in reproving Brother James he had shamed the leper. And because of this he told his fault, to make amends to God and to the leper. Blessed Francis said to Brother Peter: "I tell you to confirm for me the penance I have chosen to do for this and do not oppose me in any way."

Brother Peter told him: "Brother, do as you please."

 Previous

Next 

 

Compilatio Assisiensis, Fontes Franciscani, p. 1558-1561


accidit ut quadam die, dum staret in oratione in ecclesia Sancte Marie, diceretur ei in spiritu illud verbum sancti Evangelii: 6« Si haberes fidem ut granum sinapis et diceres illi monti ut se transfierret de loco suo et iret in alium locum, ita fieret ». 7Respondit sanctus Franciscus: « Quis est ille mons? ». Et responsum est ffli: « Mons iste est temptatio tua ». 8Dixit beatus Franciscus: « Ergo, Domine, fiat michi sicut dixisti ».

9Et statim liberatus est, ita quod visum fuit ei illam temptationem numquam habuisse.

[64]

1Quodam tempore, dum quadam die reversus fuisset beatus Franciscus apud ecclesiam sancte Marie de Portiuncula, invenit ibi fratrem Iacobum simplicem cum quodam leproso vulneribus ulcerato, qui eadem die venerat illuc; 2cui sanctus pater ipsum leprosum et maxime omnes alios leprosos qui essent valde plagati plurimum recommendaverat: 3nam illis diebus manebant fratres in hospitalibus leprosorum; 4sed ille frater Iacobus erat quasi medicus illorum qui essent multum plagati, et libenter ipsorum vulnera tangebat, mutabat et curabat.

5Dixit beatus Franciscus fratri Iacobo quasi ipsum redarguendo: « Tu non deberes ita ducere fratres christianos, quia non est honestura nec pro te nec pro ipsis ». 6Beatus Franciscus vocabat leprosos « fratres christianos ».

7Hoc autem dixit sanctus pater, quia licet placeret sibi ut ipsos iuvaret et eis serviret, nolebat tamen ut duceret illos qui essent multum plagati extra hospitale, 8maxime quia ille frater Iacobus erat valde simplex et sepe ibat ad ecclesiam sancte Marie cum aliquo leproso, et maxime quia homines consueverunt abhorrere leprosos qui essent multum plagati.

9Et hiis dictis, beatus Franciscus statim reprehendit se et dixit inde culpam suam fratri Petro Cathanii, generali, ministro qui tunc erat, maxime quia beatus Franciscus credidit de reprehensione fratris Iacobi leprosum verecundari. 10Et propter hoc dixit culpam suam, ut Deo et leproso inde satisfaceret. 11Et ait beatus Franciscus fratri Petro: « Penitentiam quam volo inde facere, dico tibi ut michi confirmes et penitus michi non contradicas ».

Dixit ad eum frater Petrus: « Frater, fiat tibi sicut placuerit ».

Francis of Assisi: Early Documents, vol. 2, p. 166

Hardcopies Available for Purchase