The Assisi Compilation - 216 

those in demons' chains. You bound and sold yourselves like animals in the market because of your wretched state. You betrayed your- selves into the hands of the demons when you placed yourselves at the will of those who have destroyed and continue to destroy them- selves, and want to destroy you and the whole city. But you are wretched and ignorant people and ungrateful for the favor of God who, although unknown to many of you, at one time freed this city through the merits of a most holy brother, Sylvester."

When blessed Francis reached Florence, he found there Lord Hugolino, the bishop of Ostia, who later became pope. He had been sent by Pope Honorius as a legate for the Duchy of Tuscany, and Lombardy, and the Marches of Treviso as far as Venice. The Lord Bishop greatly rejoiced at his arrival, but when he heard from blessed Francis that he wanted to go to France, he prohibited him from go- ing, telling him: "Brother, I do not want you to go beyond the moun- tains, because there are many prelates and others who would willingly block the religion's interests in the Roman Curia. The other cardinals and I, who love your religion, can protect and help it more willingly if you stay within the confines of this region."

But blessed Francis said to him: "Lord, it is a great shame to me, if I remain in these regions when I send my brothers to remote and far away regions." The Lord Bishop, however, said to him as if rebuking him: "Why did you send your brothers so far away to die of hunger and to so many other trials?" In great fervor of spirit and in the spirit of prophecy, blessed Francis answered him: "Lord, do you think or be- lieve that the Lord sent the brothers only for these regions? But I tell you in truth that the Lord chose and sent the brothers for the benefit and salvation of the souls of all people in the whole world and they should be received not only in the land of believers, but also in that of non-believers. As long as they observe what they promised the Lord, the Lord will minister to them in the land of non-believers as well as in the countries of believers."

The Lord Bishop marveled at his words and admitted that he spoke the truth. But the Lord Bishop did not allow him to go to France. Instead blessed Francis sent Brother Pacifico there with other brothers, and he returned to the valley of Spoleto.

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Compilatio Assisiensis, Fontes Franciscani, p. 1659-1662


33 « Ego loquor vobis sicut vinctis demoniorum, quoniam vosmetipsos ligastis et vendidistis, vos tamquam animalia ad forum, propter miseriam vestram, et tradidistis vos in manus demoniorum, scilicet quando exponitis vos voluntati illorum, qui destruxerunt et destruunt seipsos et vos et totam civitatem destruere volunt. 34Sed vos estis miseri homines et ignorantes, cum sitis ingrati, beneficiis Dei qui, licet aliqui vestrum ignorent, quadam hora liberavit istam civitatem meritis cuiusdam sanctissimi fratris Silvestri ».

35Cumque pervenisset beatus Franciscus Florentia[m], invenit ibi dominum Hugonem, episcopum Hostiensem, qui postea fuit papa, qui missus fuerat a papa Honorio in legationem per Ducatum et Tusciam et Lombardiam et Marchiam Trevisanam usque Venetias. 36De cuius adventu valde gavisus est dominus episcopus. 37Ut autem audivit a beato Francisco quod volebat ire in Franciam, prohibuit sibi ut non iret, dicens ad eum: 38 « Frater, nolo quod vadas ultra montes, quoniam multi prelati sunt et alii qui libenter impedirent bona tue Religionis in curia Romana. 39Ego autem et alii cardinales, qui diligimus tuam Religionem, libentius protegimus et adiuvamus ipsam, si manseris in circuitu istius provincie ».

40Dixit autem ad eum beatus Franciscus: « Domine , magna verecundia est michi, cum miserim fratres meos ad remotas et longinquas provincias, me autem permanere in istis provinciis ». 41Dixit autem ad eum dominus episcopus, quasi ipsum redarguendo: « Cur misisti fratres tuos tam longe ad moriendum fame et ad tantas alias tribulationes? ». 42Respondit ei beatus Franciscus cum magno fervore spiritus et spiritu prophetie: 43 « Domine, putatis vel creditis quod Dominus solummodo propter istas provincias miserit fratres? 44Sed dico vobis in veritate, quod Dominus elegit et misit fratres propter profectum et salutem animarum omnium hominum totius mundi, et non solum recipientur in terra fidelium, sed etiam infidelium. 45Et dummodo observent que Domino promiserunt, sic Dominus ministrabit eis, necessaria in terra infidelium sicut et in terra fidelium ».

46Et admiratus est dominus episcopus in verbis suis, affirmans quod verum diceret. 47Et ita non dimisit ipsum ire in Franciam dominus episcopus; 48sed beatus Franciscus misit illuc fratrem Pacificum cum aliis fratribus et ipse reversus est in vallem Spoletanam.

Francis of Assisi: Early Documents, vol. 2, p. 216

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