The Legend of the Three Companions - 77 

15Whenever he would eat with seculars, and they would give him some delicious food, he would eat only a little of it, offering some excuse so that it would not seem he was refusing it because of fasting. When he ate with his brothers, he often sprinkled ashes on the food he was eating, telling a brother, as a cover for his abstinence, that "Brother Ash" was chaste.a

Once, when he sat down to eat, a brother remarked that the Blessed Virgin was so poor that when it came time to eat, she had nothing to give to her son. When he heard this, the man of God sighed deeply with great sorrow and, after he left the table, he ate bread off the bare ground.

Many times, in fact, having sat down at table, he had barely begun to eat when he would stop eating and drinking, absorbed in meditation on heavenly things. Then he did not want to be disturbed by any conversation. Sighing loudly from the depths of his heart, he would tell the brothers that, whenever they heard him sighing this way, they should always praise God and pray for him faithfully.

We have told these things about his crying and abstinence in an incidental way to show that, after that vision and the message of the image of the Crucified, he was always conformed to the passion of Christ until his death.

Chapter VI
HOW HE ESCAPED FROM THE PERSECUTION OF HIS FATHER AND RELATIVES, 
LIVING WITH THE PRIEST AT THE  CHURCH OF SAN DAMIANO
WHERE HE THREW THE MONEY ON THE WINDOW

16Overjoyed by the vision and hearing the words of the Crucified Christ, he got up, fortifying himself with the sign of the cross. And mounting his horse and taking cloth of different colors, he arrived at a city named Foligno and, after selling there the horse and everything he was carrying, he returned immediately to the church of San Damiano.

After he found a poor priest there, he kissed his hands with great faith and devotion; he offered him the money he was carrying, and explained his purpose in great detail. The priest, astounded and surprised at his sudden conversion, refused to believe this, and, thinking he was being mocked, refused to keep his money. But stubbornly persisting, he endeavored to create confidence in his

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Legenda Trium Sociorum, Fontes Franciscani, p. 1388-1389


15 1Unde cum sederet aliquando ad manducandum cum saecularibus et dabantur ei aliqua cibaria delectabilia corpori suo, parum gustabat ex eis, aliquam xcusationem praetendens ne videretur ea ropter abstinentiam dimisisse. 2Et quando comedebat cum fratribus, in cibis quos edebat saepe ponebat cinerem, dicens fratribus in abstinentiae suae velamen, fratrem cinerem esse castum.

3Cum autem semel ad manducandum sederet, dixit ei quidam frater quod beata Virgo in hora comestionis ita fuerat paupercula quod non habebat quid daret filio suo ad manducandum. 4Quod audiens, vir Dei suspiravit cuin magno dolore, mensaque relicta, panem super nudam terram comedit.

5Multotiens vero cum sederet ad manducandum, parum post comestionis initium subsistebat non comedens neque bibens, suspensus circa caelestia meditanda. 6Nolebat enim tunc verbis aliquibus impediri, alta suspiria ex intimo cordis emittens, dicebat etiam fratribus, ut semper cum audirent eum taliter suspirantem, laudarent Deum et pro ipso fideliter exorarent.

7Haec de suo fletu et abstinentia diximus incidenter ut ostenderemus ipsum post dictam visionem et allocutionem imaginis Crucifixi fuisse usque ad mortem semper Christi passioni conformem.

Caput VI
Qualiter primo fugit persecutiones patris et propinquorum,
stando cum sacerdote Sancti Damiani
in cuius fenestra proiecerat pecuniam.

16 1Ex dicta igitur visione et allocutione Crucifixi gavisus surrexit signo crucis se muniens, et ascendens equum assumensque pannos diversorum colorum, ad civitatem quae dicitur Fulgineum pervenit, atque ibi venditis equo et omnibus quae portaverat, ad ecclesiam Sancti Damiani continuo est reversus.

Et invento illic sacerdote pauperculo, cum magna fide et devotione osculans manus eius, obtulit illi pecuniam quam portabat et propositum suum per ordinem enarravit. 3Obstupefactus sacerdos, et subitam eius conversionem miratus, recusabat haec credere, et sibi putans illudi, noluit apud se illus pecuniam retinere. 4At ipse pertinaciter insistens, verbis suis fidem facere nitebatur et sacerdotem orabat enixius ut eum secum permitteret commorari.

Francis of Assisi: Early Documents, vol. 2, p. 77

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