The Assisi Compilation - 194 

[90]
[HE WOULD GIVE AWAY THE TUNIC HE WAS WEARING TO HELP THE POOR]

Once when he was traveling through a certain region preaching, two brothers from France happened to meet him. From this they enjoyed great consolation. Finally, out of the great devotion they had toward him, for the love of God they asked for his tunic. As soon as he heard "the love of God," he immediately took off his tunic, remaining naked for almost an hour.

For it was blessed Francis's custom when someone said to him "for the love of God, give me your tunic or cord," or anything else that he had, he would immediately give it to them out of reverence for that Lord who is called Love. Furthermore he would be greatly displeased, and would reprimand the brothers when he heard them invoking the love of God needlessly. For he would say: "The love of God is so very exalted that it should be mentioned with great reverence rarely and only in dire necessity." Then one of the brothers took off his tunic and gave it to him.

Very often he endured great need and hardship when he gave away his tunic or a part of it to someone, because he could not quickly find or have another one made. This was true especially since he always wished to have and to wear a poor tunic made of bits and pieces, and occasionally he wanted it patched on inside and out. Because he rarely, if ever, wanted to have or wear a tunic made from new cloth, but would acquire one worn by a brother for a long time, and sometimes he would even accept one part of his tunic from one brother and the rest from another. But, because of his many illnesses and the cold, he would occasionally patch it on the inside with new cloth.

He held and observed this kind of poverty in his clothing until the year when he returned to the Lord. For a few days before his death, because he was suffering from dropsy, he was almost completely dehydrated and weakened by many of the other sicknesses he had, the brothers made several tunics for him, so that they could change his tunic night and day as was necessary.

[91]
[HE TRIES TO GIVE A PIECE OF HIS TUNIC TO A POOR MAN]

Another time a poor man with poor clothing came to a hermitage of the brothers and, for the love of God, asked for some cloth from the brothers. Blessed Francis told a brother to look around the house

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Compilatio Assisiensis, Fontes Franciscani, p. 1613-1615


[90]

1Unde quodam tempore, cum iret per quandam provinciam predicando, accidit quod duo fratres francigene obviaverunt illi et habuerunt de ipso maximam consolationem. 2Ad ultimum vero petierunt sibi tunicam suam « amore Dei » propter devotionem. 3Ipse vero statim ut audivit amorem Dei, exuit se tunicam, manens nudus per aliquam horam.

4Nam mos erat beati Francisci cum aliquis diceret ei: « Amore Dei da michi tunicam vel cordam » aut aliquid quod haberet, statim dabat ei ob reverentiam illius Domini, qui caritas dicitur. 5Immo multum displicebat ei et reprehendebat inde fratres, cum audiret illos pro qualicumque re nominare amorem Dei. 6Dicebat enim: « Tam altissimus est amor Dei, quod raro et nonnisi in magna necessitate cum multa reverentia nominari deberet ». 7Unus autem ex illis exuit se tunicam suam et dedit illi.

8Nam multotiens inde sustinebat multam necessitatem et tribulationem, cum daret tunicam suam vel partem alicui; quoniam non poterat tam cito reinvenire vel facere fieri aliam, 9maxime quia semper volebat habere et portare pauperculam tunicam de petiis, et aliquando eam volebat intus et foris repetiatam: 10quoniam raro aut numquam volebat habere vel portare tunicam de novo panno, sed ab aliquo fratre acquirebat tunicam suam quam per multos dies portaverat, et etiam quondoque ab uno fratre accipiebat unam partem sue tunice et ab alio alteram; 11interius vero propter suas multas infirmitates et frigiditates aliquando de novo panno repetiabat illam.

12Et hunc modum paupertatis in suis vestimentis tenuit et observavit usque ad illum annum quo migravit ad Dominum. 13Nam paucis diebus ante obitum suum, quia erat hydropicus et quasi totus desiccatus et per alias plures infirmitates quas habebat, fecerunt sibi fratres plures tunicas, ut ipsi de nocte et de die, cum necesse esset, tunicam mutarent.

[91]

1Alia vice quidam pauperculus cum pauperculis vestimentis venit ad quoddam heremitorium fratrum, qui amore Dei petiit a fratribus aliquam petiam pauperculam. 2Beatus Franciscus dixit cuidam fratri, ut quereret per domum,

Francis of Assisi: Early Documents, vol. 2, p. 194

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