The Assisi Compilation - 174 

"My brothers, I don't have the wish to eat; but if I had a bit of that fish called squalo, perhaps I would eat some."

Once he said this, someone came carrying a basket in which there were three large and well-prepared squali and crabcakes. The holy father gladly ate these. These were sent to him by Brother Gerardo, the minister at Rieti.

As they considered his holiness, the brothers were amazed and praised the Lord who had provided for his servant, especially because it was winter and such things were not available in that area.

[72]
[HE KNOWS THE THOUGHTS OF A CRITICAL BROTHER]

Once blessed Francis was travelling with a spiritual brother from Assisi who came from a great and powerful family. Because he was weak and ill, blessed Francis rode on a donkey. Feeling tired from walking, that brother began to think to himself: "His parents were never at the same level as mine, and here he is riding, while I'm worn out, walking behind him, prodding the beast."

While he was thinking this, blessed Francis got off the donkey and said to him: "No, brother, it's not right or proper for me to ride while you go on foot, for in the world you were nobler and more influential than I." The brother, stunned and ashamed, fell down at his feet and, in tears, confessed his thought and then said his penance. He was greatly amazed at his holiness, for he immediately knew his thought.

In fact, when the brothers petitioned the Lord Pope Gregory and the cardinals in Assisi to canonize blessed Francis, he testified to this before the Lord Pope and the cardinals.

[73]
[HE BLESSES A BROTHER AT GRECCIO, KNOWING HIS WISH AT A DISTANCE]

A brother, a spiritual man and a friend of God, was living in the place of the brothers of Rieti. One day he got up and came with great devotion to the hermitage of the brothers of Greccio, where blessed Francis was then staying, out of a desire to see him and receive his blessing. Blessed Francis had already eaten and had returned to the cell where he prayed and rested. Because it was Lent he did not leave the cell except at mealtime and returned to the cell immediately afterward. The brother did not find him and grew very sad, attributing

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Compilatio Assisiensis, Fontes Franciscani, p. 1575-1577


« Fratres mei, non habeo voluntatem comedendi, sed si haberem de pisce qui dicitur squalus, forsitan comederem ».

3Et hiis dictis, ecce quidam apportabat canistrum, in quo erant tres magni squali bene parati et cuppi de gammaris, de quibus libenter comedebat sanctus pater, quos miserat ad ipsum frater Girardus, minister Reate.

4Et admirati sunt valde fratres considerantes sanctitatem eius et laudaverunt Dominum qui servo suo satisfecit, de quibus impossibile erat eis tunc satisfacere illi, maxime quia hiems erat et in illa terra de talibus habere non poterant.

[72]

1Quodam tempore ibat beatus Franciscus cum quodam fratre spirituali de Assisio, qui erat de magna parentela et potenti. 2Beatus Franciscus, quia debilis homo erat et infirmus, equitabat in quodam asino. 3Frater ille fatigatus ex itinere cepit cogitare intra se dicens: « Non equiparabantur parentes istius ad meos, et ecce modo iste equitat, et ego vado retro post ipsum tangendo bestiam fatigatus ».

4Et hec eo cogitante statim beatus Franciscus descendit de asino, dicens ad eum: « Frater, non est equum neque conveniens, quod ego equitem et tu vadas pedes, quia nobilior et potentior in seculo me fuisti ». 5Et stupefactus et verecundatus est frater, et cum lacrimis procidit ad pedes eius, et confessus est cogitationem suam, et dixit inde culpam suam; et admiratus est valde sanctitatem eius quod statim cognovit cogitationem suam.

6Quin quando rogaverunt fratres dominum papam Gregorium et cardinales apud Assisium, ut canonizarent beatum Franciscum, testificatus est hoc coram domino papa et cardinalibus.

[73]

1Quidam frater, spiritualis homo et amicus Dei, morabatur in loco fratrum de Reate; 2et surgens quadam die cum magna devotione venit ad heremitorium fratrum de Grecio, ubi beatus Franciscus tunc manebat, ex desiderio ipsum videndi et habendi eius benedictionem. 3Beatus Franciscus iam comederat, et reversus erat ad cellam ubi orabat et iacebat; 4et quia erat quadragesima non descendebat de cella nisi in hora comestionis, et statim ad cellam revertebatur. 5Et contristatus est multum ille frater, eo quod non invenit ipsum, imputans hoc peccato suo,

Francis of Assisi: Early Documents, vol. 2, p. 174

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