The Assisi Compilation - 175 

this to his sins, especially because he had to return that day to his own place.

The companions of blessed Francis consoled him, and he had not gone more than a stone's throw away from the place when, by the will of the Lord, blessed Francis came out of his cell and called one of his companions, who was travelling with him as far as Fonte del Lago. He said to him: "Tell that brother to look back toward me." And when he turned his face to blessed Francis, he made the sign of the cross and blessed him. That brother, rejoicing both in body and spirit, praised the Lord who fulfilled his desire. His consolation was so much the greater because he saw that it was the will of God that the saint bless him without being asked by him or others.

The companions of blessed Francis, and the other brothers of the place, were amazed, considering it a great miracle since no one had told blessed Francis about the arrival of that brother. And neither the companions of blessed Francis, nor any other brother would have dared approach him unless he had called them. This was true not only there but everywhere blessed Francis stayed to pray, for he wanted to remain so removed, that no one would go to him without being called.

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[HE CORRECTS THE BROTHERS OF GRECCIO FOR AN ELEGANT TABLE-SETTING;
THE VISIT OF CARDINAL HUGOLINO TO THE PORTIUNCULA
PRAISE FOR THE PEOPLE OF GRECCIO]

One day a minister of the brothers came to blessed Francis who was then staying in that same place, in order to celebrate the feast of Christmas with him. It happened that the brothers of that place on Christmas day itself prepared the table elaborately because of that minister, covering it with lovely white tablecloths which they obtained for the occasion, and vessels of glass for drinking.

Blessed Francis came down from the cell to eat, and when he saw the table set on a dais and finely prepared, he went secretly and took the hat of a poor man who had arrived there that very day, and the staff he carried in his hand. He called one of his companions in a whisper and went outside the door of the hermitage, unnoticed by the other brothers of the house.

Meanwhile the brothers came to the table, especially because it was sometimes the custom of the holy father that, if he did not arrive immediately at mealtime, and the brothers wanted to eat, he wanted them to go to the table and eat.

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Compilatio Assisiensis, Fontes Franciscani, p. 1577-1578


imputans hoc peccato suo, maxime quia oportebat ipsum illo die reverti ad locum suum.

6Cumque consolarentur ipsum socii beati Francisci et ipse separaret se.a loco quantum iactus est lapidis a ut reverteretur ad locum suum, et beatus Franciscus de voluntate Domini exivit foras de cella et vocavit unum de sociis suis, qui ibat cum ipso usque ad fontem laci, et dixit ad eum: 7 « Dicas isti fratri, quod respiciat ad me ». Cumque verteret faciem suam ad beatum Franciscum, crucis signo signavit et benedixit eum. 8Frater ille cum letitia utriusque hominis laudavit Dominum qui implevit desiderium suum, et tanto magis inde est consolatus quanto consideravit quod voluntas Dei fuit ut ipsum benediceret sine suo rogamine et dicto alicuius.

9Nam socii beati Francisci et alii fratres de loco inde mirati sunt; considerantes magnum esse miraculum, eo quod nullus dixit beato Francisco de adventu illius fratris; 10quoniam neque socii beati Francisci neque aliquis alius frater audebat ire ad ipsum nisi vocaret ipsos; 11et non solum ibi, sed ubicumque manebat beatus Franciscus ad orationem, volebat manere ita remotus ut nullus iret ad ipsum nisi vocaret ipsum.

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1Quodam tempore quidam minister fratrum venit ad beatum Franciscum qui manebat tunc in eodem loco, ad celebrandum festum, Nativitatis Domini cum illo. 2Et factum est ut, cum fratres de loco honorifice pararent mensam, ipso die Nativitatis occasione ministri illius, de pulchris et albis toalleis quas acquisiverant et vasis vitreis ad bibendum, beatus Franciscus descendebat de cella ad comedendum.

3Cumque videret mensam in altum positam et ita curiose paratam, ivit secreto et tulit capellum cuiusdam pauperis hominis et baculum quem gestaverat in manibus, qui venerat ipso die illuc. 4Et vocavit summissa voce unum, de sociis suis, et exivit foras ostium heremitorii, ignorantibus aliis fratribus de domo.

5Interim fratres intraverunt ad mensam, maxime quia consuetudo erat aliquando sancti patris ut, cum non veniret statim in hora comestionis, quando fratres vellent comedere, volebat ut fratres intrarent ad mensam ad comedendum.

Francis of Assisi: Early Documents, vol. 2, p. 175

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