The Assisi Compilation - 189 

gion of the brothers, whose little plant they are, but also of the entire Church of God.

Therefore, since blessed Francis knew that from the beginning of their conversion they had led, and were still leading, a strict and poor life by free choice and by necessity, his spirit was always moved to piety for them.

With these words, then, he begged them that, as the Lord had gathered them as one from many different regions in holy charity, holy poverty, and holy obedience, so in these they should live and die. And he begged them particularly to provide for their bodies with discernment from the alms which the Lord would give them, with cheerfulness and thanksgiving. And he especially asked them to remain patient: the healthy, in the labors which they endure for their sick sisters; and the sick in their illnesses and the needs they suffer.

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[HE IS TAKEN TO FONTE COLOMBO TO HAVE HIS EYES CAUTERIZED; THE KINDNESS OF BROTHER FIRE]

It happened that, when the season conducive to healing of the eyes arrived, blessed Francis left that place, even though his eye disease was quite serious. He was wearing on his head a large capuche the brothers had made for him, with a piece of wool and linen cloth sewn to the capuche, covering his eyes. This was because he could not look at the light of day because of the great pain caused by his eye disease. His companions led him on horseback to the hermitage of Fonte Colombo, near Rieti, to consult with a doctor of Rieti who knew how to treat eye diseases.

When that doctor arrived there, he told blessed Francis that he wanted to cauterize from the jaw to the eyebrow of the weaker eye.a

Blessed Francis, however, did not wish the treatment to begin until Brother Elias arrived.

He waited for him, and he did not come because, on account of many engagements he had, he could not come. So he was in doubt about beginning the treatment. But, constrained by necessity, and especially out of obedience to the Lord Bishop of Ostia and the general minister, he proposed to obey, although it was difficult for him to have any concern about himself, and that is why he wanted his minister to do this.

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Compilatio Assisiensis, Fontes Franciscani, p. 1603-1604


cuius plantula exaltatio est et hedificatio, sed etiam universalis ecclesie Dei.

5Unde cuin sciret beatus Franciscus, quod a principio earum conversionis nimis duxissent et ducerent adhuc artam et pauperculam vitam et, voluntate et necessitate, spiritus eius semper circa ipsas pietate movebatur.

6Quapropter in eisdem verbis ipsas rogavit, ut sicut Dominus ex multis partibus in unum congregavit ipsas ad sanctam caritatem, sanctam paupertatem et sanctam obedientiam, ita in ipsis semper vivere et mori deberent; 7et specialiter ut de helemosinis, quas Dominus daret illis, cum hilaritate et gratiarum actione discrete suis corporibus providerent, 8et maxime ut sane in laboribus quos sustinebant pro infirmis suis sororibus, et infirme in suis infirmitatibus et necessitatibus quas patiebantur existerent patientes.

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1Factum est autem, dum appropinquaret tempus congruum pro infirmitate oculorum curanda, discessit beatus Franciscus de loco illo, licet in oculis esset valde infirmus, 2habens in capite quoddam magnum caputium sicut fratres fecerant sibi, et pannum de lana et lino consutum cum caputio ante oculos, quoniam lumen diei respicere et videre non poterat pre magnis doloribus ex infirmitate oculorum provenientibus, 3et perduxerunt eum socii eius in equitatura apud heremitorium Fontis Columbarum prope Reate, ad habendum consilium cum quodam medico Reate qui noverat oculorum infirmitati medicinari.

4Cumque illuc veniret medicus ille, dixit beato Francisco quod volebat facere cocturam super maxillam usque ad supercilium illius oculi, qui erat infirmior altero;

sed beatus Franciscus nolebat incipere curam nisi veniret frater Helias.

5Cumque expectaret ipsum et non veniret, quia propter multa impedimenta que habuit venire non potuit, et ipse dubitabat incipere curam; 6sed necessitate coactus, maxime propter obedientiam domini episcopi Hostiensis et generalis ministri, proposuit eis obedire, licet satis grave illi esset de se habere huiusmodi sollicitudines. 7Et propterea volebat ut minister eius illud ageret.

Francis of Assisi: Early Documents, vol. 2, p. 189

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