The Legend of the Three Companions - 78 

words, and he begged the priest more emphatically to allow him to stay with him.

Finally the priest agreed to let him stay but, out of fear of his parents, did not accept the money. And so the true scorner of money, throwing it on a windowsill, cared for it as much as he cared for dust.

While he was staying there, his father, like a diligent spy, went around seeking to learn what might have happened to his son. And when he heard that he was so changed and was living in that place in such a way, he was touched inwardly with sorrow of heart and deeply disturbed by the sudden turn of events. Calling together his friends and neighbors, he ran to him.

Because he was a new knight of Christ, as he heard the threats of his pursuers and knew beforehand of their coming, he left room for his father's anger; and, going to a secret cavea which he had prepared for this, he hid there for a whole month. That cave was known to only one person in his father's house. He would eat the food that, from time to time, was secretly brought to him there , praying all the while with flowing tears that the Lord would free Ps 142:7 [Vulgate, Ps 141:7] him from destructive persecution, and that he could favorably fulfill his fervent wishes.

17And so he begged the Lord relentlessly in fasting and weeping. Jl 2:12 Lacking confidence in his own effort and strength, he cast Ps 55:23 [Vulgate, Ps 54:23] his hope completely on the Lord, who filled him with an inexpressible happiness and enlightened him with a marvelous light, even though he still remained in darkness.

Glowing with this inner radiance, after he left the pit, he made his way to Assisi, lighthearted and happy. Strengthened with Christ's armor of confidence, and burning with divine fervor, he blatantly exposed himself to the threats and blows of his persecutors, accusing himself of laziness and groundless fear.

Those who knew him earlier, seeing him now, reproached him harshly. Shouting that he was insane and out of his mind, they threw mud from the streets and stones at him. For they saw him so changed from his earlier ways and so weakened by starving his body, that they blamed everything he did on starvation and madness. But, as he passed through their midst deaf to all these things, neither broken nor changed by any wrong, the knight of Christ gave thanks to God.




Legenda Trium Sociorum, Fontes Franciscani, p. 1389-1391

verbis suis fidem facere nitebatur et sacerdotem orabat enixius ut eum secum permitteret commorari.

5Acquievit tandem sacerdos de mora illius, sed timore parentum pecuniam non recepit. 6Quare verus pecuniarum contemptor in quamdam fenestram proiciens ipsam, velut pulverem vilipendit.

7Moram igitur faciente a ipso in loco praefato, pater ipsius ut sedulus explorator circuivit quaerens quid actum sit de filio suo. 8Et cum audisset eum sic mutatum in loco iam dicto taliter conversari, tactus dolore cordis intrinsecus et ad subitum rerum eventum turbatus, convocatis amicis et vicinis citissime cucurrit ad eum.

9Ipse autem, quia erat novus miles Christi, ut audivit minas persequentium eorumque adventum praescivit, dedit locum irae paternae et ad quamdam occultam caveam quam ad hoc sibi paraverat accedens, ibi per mensem integrum latitavit. 10Quae cavea, uni tantum de domo patris erat cognita, ubi cibum sibi quandoque oblatum edebat occulte, orans iugiter lacrimarum imbre perfusus ut Dominus liberaret eum a persecutione nociva et ut pia vota ipsius benigno favore compleret.

17 1Cumque sic in ieiunio et fletu 9ferventer et assidue Dominum exorasset, de sua diffidens virtute et industria, spem suam totaliter iactavit in Dominum, qui eum licet in tenebris manentem perfuderat quadam ineffabili laetitia et illustraverat mirabili claritate.

2Ex qua nimirum totus ignitus, fovea relicta, iter arripuit versus Assisium, impiger festinus et laetus. 3Et fiduciae Christi armis munitus divinoque calore succensus, seipsum arguens de pigritia et vano timore, manibus et ictibus persequentium se exposuit manifeste.

4Quem videntes illi qui prius noverant eum sibi miserabiliter exprobrabant insanumque ac dementem clamantes, lutum platearum et lapides proiciebant in eum i. 5Cernentes enim eum sic a pristinis moribus alteratum et carnis maceratione confectum, totum quod agebat exinanitioni et dementiae imputabant. 6Sed miles Christi, in his omnibus ut surdus pertransiens nulla fractus aut mutatus iniuria, Deo gratias referebat.

Francis of Assisi: Early Documents, vol. 2, p. 78