The Assisi Compilation - 218 

And in the same way, for eight days constantly, when he came down from the cell, he found it in the same place. And daily he would take it in his hand, and as soon as he told it to sing, touching it, it sang. After eight days, he said to his companions: "Let us give permission to our sister cricket to go where she wants. She has consoled us enough; and the flesh might vainglory from this." As soon as it had received permission, the cricket went away and never appeared there again. His companions admired how obedient and tame she was to him.

Blessed Francis found so much joy in creatures because of love of the Creator, to console him in his inner and outer self, that the Lord made even those that are wild to people become tame to him.

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[HE ENDURES THE COLD IN A HERMITAGE NEAR RIETI BECAUSE HE WANTS TO BE A MODEL TO THE OTHER BROTHERS]

At one time blessed Francis was staying at the hermitage of Sant' Eleuterio, near the town of Condigliano in the district of Rieti. Since he was wearing only one tunic, one day because of the extreme cold, and out of great necessity, he patched his tunic and that of his companion with scraps of cloth on the inside, so that his body began to be comforted a little. A short while afterwards, when he was returning from prayer one day, he said with great joy to his companion: "I must be the form and example of all the brothers; so, although it is necessary for my body to have a tunic with patches, nevertheless I must take into consideration my brothers who have the same need, but perhaps do not and cannot have this. Therefore, I must stay down with them, and I must suffer those same necessities they suffer so that in seeing this, they may be able to bear them more patiently."

We who were with him could not say how many and how great were the necessities that he denied his body in food and clothing, to give good example to the brothers and so that they would endure their necessities in greater patience. At all times, especially after the brothers began to multiply and he resigned the office of prelate, blessed Francis had as his highest and principal goal to teach the brothers more by actions than by words what they ought to do and what they ought to avoid.

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Compilatio Assisiensis, Fontes Franciscani, p. 1665-1667


7Et sic usque ad continuos .VIII. dies, cum descenderet de cella, inveniebat ipsam in eodem loco et cotidie accipiebat ipsam in manu, et statim, cum dicebat ei ut caneret, tangendo ipsam, canebat. 8Post dies octo dixit sociis suis: « Demus licentiam sorori cicade, ut recedat quo voluerit; satis enim nos consolata est; nam caro posset inde trahere vanam gloriam ». 9Et, data sibi licentia, statim, recessit et amplius ibi non apparuit. 10Et mirati sunt inde socii eius quod ita obediret ei et sic esset mansueta sibi.

11Nam beatus Franciscus in tantum letabatur in creaturis propter amorem Creatoris, quod Dominus, pro consolatione utriusque hominis sui, que sunt hominibus silvestres, sibi mansuetas faciebat.

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1Quodam tempore, beatus Franciscus manebat apud heremitorium sancti Eleutherii prope quoddam castrum, nomine Quintillianum, de contrata Reate. 2Et cum non portaret nisi tunicam unam, quadam die ex magno frigore et ma gna necessitate repetiavit tunicam suam et tunicam socii sui interius quibusdam petiis, ita quod corpus eius cepit inde aliquantulum consolari. 3Et parum post, cum quadam die reverteretur ab oratione, cum magna letitia dixit socio suo: 4 « Me oportet esse formam et exemplum omnium fratrum, quoniam licet corpori meo necesse sit habere tunicam repetiatam, tamen considerare me oportet fratres meos, quibus istud idem necesse est, et ipsi forsitan non habent nec habere possunt; 5unde me oportet condescendere eis et easdem necessitates, quas ipsi patiuntur et me oportet pati, ut ipsi, hoc videntes, magis patienter valeant sustinere ».

6Quot enim et quantas necessitates suo corpori denegaverit in victu et vestitu, ut fratribus daret bonum exemplum et ut in maiori patientia suas necessitates tolerarent, nos, qui cum ipso fuimus, dicere non possemus. 7Et in hoc summum et precipuum studium habuit semper beatus Franciscus, maxime postquam fratres ceperunt multiplicari et ipse dimisit officium prelationis, ut magis operibus quam verbis fratres doceret, quid agerent, quidve deberent vitare.

Francis of Assisi: Early Documents, vol. 2, p. 218

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