The Assisi Compilation - 195 

and, if he found some, to give it to him. And going around the whole house, that brother told him that he did not find any. So that the poor man would not go away empty-handed, blessed Francis went out secretly, so that his guardian would not forbid him. He took a knife, and sitting in a hidden place, he began to cut away a piece of his tunic, which was sewed on the inside of the tunic, wanting to give it to the poor man in secret. But immediately, since the guardian sensed what he wanted to do, he went to him and forbade him to give it away, especially since the weather was then very cold, and he was extremely sick and cold.

Blessed Francis told him: "If you do not want me to give it to him, you must make sure that some piece is given to the poor brother." And so, at the prompting of blessed Francis, the brothers gave the poor man some cloth from their own clothes.

When the brothers loaned him a mantle—or when he was traveling through the country preaching and he became sick and could no longer go on foot, he would occasionally ride a donkey, since he did not want to ride on a horse unless compelled by the greatest necessity. And such was the case shortly before his death when he became seriously ill.a When he was staying in some place, he did not want to accept it unless, in some way, he could give it to a poor person he might meet or who would come to him if his spirit were convinced that the person was in evident need.

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[HE ASKS BROTHER GILES TO GIVE HIS MANTLE TO A POOR MAN]

At the beginning of the religion, when he was staying at Rivo Torto with only two brothers whom he had at that time, the one who was the third brother, came from the world to receive his life. When he had stayed there for a few days, still wearing his secular clothes, a poor man happened to come to the place asking alms of blessed Francis. Blessed Francis said to him who was the third brother: "Give the poor brother your mantle." Immediately, with great joy, he took it off his back and gave it to him. It then seemed to him that, at that moment, the Lord immediately had infused new grace into his heart because he had given the poor man his mantle with joy.

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Compilatio Assisiensis, Fontes Franciscani, p. 1615-1617


si aliquem pannum vel petiam inveniret, ut daret illi. 3Et circumiens per domum frater ille dixit quod non invenit. 4Ut autem non reverteretur vacuus pauper, ivit occulte beatus Franciscus, propter guardianum suum ut non prohiberet illi, et tulit cultrum, et sedens in loco secreto cepit tollere quandam petiam tunice sue, que erat interius suta cum tunica, volens illi pauperi dare secrete. 5Sed statim ut guardianus eius sensit quod volebat agere, ivit ad ipsum et prohibuit ut non daret, maxime quia tunc erat magnum frigus et ipse infirmus et frigidus erat valde.

6Dixit autem ad eum beatus Franciscus: « Si vis ut non dem illi, oportet penitus quod aliquam petiam facias dari fratri pauperi ». 7Et sic dederunt fratres illi aliquem pannum de vestimentis suis occasione beati Francisci.

8Cum fratres accomodarent illi aliquem mantellum, sive cum iret per mundum predicando [pedes sive in asino] 9eo quod postquam incepit infirmari non valebat ire pedes et ideo oportebat ipsum aliquando in asino equitare, quia in equo nonnisi in strietura et maxima necessitate voluit equitare, et hoc parum ante obitum suum ex quo cepit multum infirmari 10aut staret in aliquo loco, nolebat illum accipere nisi tali modo, videlicet ut, si obviaret alicui pauperculo homini aut veniret ad ipsum, de quo spiritus eius sibi testimonium perhiberet quod manifeste illi necesse esset, posset ei dare.

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1Quodam tempore in primordio Religionis, cum maneret apud Rigum Tortum cum duobus fratribus quos tunc tantum habebat, ecce quidam, qui fuit tertius frater, venit de seculo ad recipiendam vitam eius. 2Et factum est, dum sic maneret per aliquos dies indutus pannis quos de seculo apportaverat, accidit ut quidam pauperculus veniret ad locum illum querens helemosinam beato Francisco. 3Beatus Franciscus dixit illi, qui fuit tertius frater: « Da fratri pauperi mantellum tuum ». 4Et statim cum magna letitia tulit illum de dorso suo et dedit illi. 5Unde visum fuit illi quod statim novam gratiam immisisset Dominus in cor eius occasione illa, qui cum hilaritate dedit mantellum pauperi.

Francis of Assisi: Early Documents, vol. 2, p. 195

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