The Assisi Compilation - 191 

proved to be true, since it did not help him at all. Similarly, another doctor pierced both his ears, but to no avail.

It is not surprising that fire and other creatures sometimes showed him reverence because, as we who were with him saw, he loved and revered them with a great feeling of charity. He took great delight in them and his spirit was moved to so much piety and compassion toward them that he was disturbed when someone did not treat them decently. He used to speak with them with joy, inside and out, as if they could hear, understand, and speak about God. And for that reason he was often caught up in the contemplation of God.

Once when he was sitting close to a fire, without being aware of it, his linen pants next to the leg caught fire. He felt the heat of the fire and his companion saw that the fire was burning his pants and ran to put out the flame. Blessed Francis told him: "No, dearest brother, do not hurt Brother Fire." And he did not permit him to extinguish it. So the brother ran to the brother who was his guardian and brought him to blessed Francis and, against his wishes, he began to put it out.

He was moved with such piety and love for it that he did not want to blow out a candle, a lamp, or a fire, as is usually done when necessary. He also forbade a brother to throw away fire or smoldering wood, as is usually done, but wanted him simply to place it on the ground, out of reverence for Him who created it.

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[HE WILL NOT HELP TO PUT OUT A FIRE AT LA VERNA]

Another time, while he was keeping a lent on Mount La Verna, his companion lit a fire at mealtime one day in the cell where he ate. Once the fire was lit, he went to blessed Francis, who was in the cell where he usually prayed and slept, to read him the holy Gospel that was read in the Mass of that day. Whenever blessed Francis was unable to hear Mass, he always wanted to hear the Gospel of the day before he ate.

When blessed Francis came to eat in the cell where the fire was lit, the flames had already reached the roof of the cell and were burning it. His companion tried his best to extinguish it, but could not do it by himself. But Blessed Francis did not want to help him: he took the hide that he used to cover himself at night, and went into the forest.

The brothers of the place, although they stayed some distance from the cell, since the cell was far from the place of the brothers, seeing that the cell was burning, came and extinguished it. Afterwards, blessed Francis returned to eat. After the meal, he said to his

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Compilatio Assisiensis, Fontes Franciscani, p. 1607-1609


quoniam et verum fuit, quia nichil ei profuit. 25Similiter et alius quidam medicus ambas eius auriculas perforavit, et tamen nichil ei profuit.

26Et non est mirum, si ignis et alie creature venerabantur aliquando ipsum: quoniam, sicut vidimus nos qui fuimus cum illo, tanta affectione caritatis ipsas diligebat et venerabatur, 27et in eis tantum delectabatur et tanta pietate et compassione circa ipsas spiritus eius movebatur, quod quando quis non honeste tractaret eas [turbaretur], 28et ita cum ipsis loquebatur letitia interiori et exteriori sic ut [si] de Deo sentirent, intelligerent et loquerentur, ita quod multotiens illa occasione rapiebatur in contemplatione Dei.

29Nam quadam vice cum sederet iuxta ignem, ipso nesciente, ignis invasit pannos eius de lino iuxta crus. 30Cumque sentiret calorem ignis et socius eius videret quod ignis combureret pannos eius, cucurrit volens extinguere ipsum. 31Qui dixit ei: « Carissime frater, noli male facere fratri igni ». 32Et ita non permisit ei, ut ullo modo ipsum extingueret. 33Ille vero statim ivit ad fratrem, qui erat eius guardianus, et duxit illum ad eum et sic, illo nolente, cepit extinguere ipsum.

34Nolebat enim ipse candelam vel lampadem aut ignem extinguere, sicut solet fieri cum est necesse, [tanta] pietate et dilectione movebatur circa ipsum. 35Nolebat etiam ut frater proiceret ignem vel lignum fumigantem, sicut solet multotiens fieri, sed volebat ut plane poneret ipsum in terram ob reverentiam illius cuius est creatura.

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1Alia vice, cum fecit quadragesimam apud montem Alverne, quadam die, cum socius eius in hora comestionis accenderet ignem in cella ubi comedebat, accenso igne, venit ad beatum Franciscum ad cellam ubi orabat et iacebat secundum consuetudinem, ad legendum sibi sanctum Evangelium quod in missa illo die dicebatur: 2quoniam beatus Franciscus semper, cum non posset audire missam, volebat audire Evangelium illius diei antequam comederet.

3Cumque veniret ad comedendum beatus Franciscus in cella, ubi ignis erat accensus, flamma iam ignis ascenderat culmen celle, et ipsam comburebat, socius autem eius sicut poterat cepit ipsum extinguere, sed solus non poterat; 4beatus vero Franciscus nolebat iuvare ipsum; sed tulit quandam pellem, quam tenebat super se de nocte, et ivit in silvam.

5Fratres de loco, licet manerent remote a cella, quoniam cella longe erat a loco fratrum, ut senserunt quod cella arderet, venerunt et extinxerunt ipsum. 6Beatus Franciscus reversus est postea ad comedendum. 7Post comestionem dixit socio suo:

Francis of Assisi: Early Documents, vol. 2, p. 191

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