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 The Legend of the Three Companions - 79 

When rumor of this sort spread through the streets and quarters of the city, it finally reached his father. After he heard that the townspeople had done such things to him, he instantly arose to look for him, not to free him, but rather to destroy him. With no restraint, he ran like a wolf after a lamb, and, glaring at him wild-eyed and savagely, he mercilessly took him in tow. Confining him to home and locking him up in a dark prison for several days, he strove, by words and blows, to turn his spirit to the vanities of this world.

18But, since he was neither moved by words, nor exhausted by chains or blows, he endured all these things patiently, more fit and eager to carry out his holy plan.

When his father had to leave home on a pressing need, his mother remained at home alone with him. Since she did not approve of her husband's action, she spoke to her son in gentle words. When she realized she could not dissuade him from his holy intention, moved by her deep feeling for him, she removed the chains, and let him go free.

Thanking Almighty God, he returned to the place where he had been before, now enjoying greater freedom, since he passed the devil's temptations and had been taught by the lessons of temptation. More self-confident because of the injuries he had received, he made his way more freely and with an even greater heart.

In the meantime his father returned, and not finding his son, he turned on his wife in abuse, heaping sin upon sin.

19Then the father hurried to the palace of the commune complaining to the city magistrates about his son and asking them to make him return the money he had taken from the house. When the magistrates saw how distraught he was, they sent a messenger to summon Francis to appear before them. He told the messenger that he had been made free by God's grace and, since he was a servant of almighty God alone, was no longer bound by the magistrates. The magistrates, unwilling to force the issue, told his father: "Because he is in the service of God, he no longer falls within our power."a

Realizing that he could accomplish nothing with the magistrates, he made the same complaint before the bishop of the city. The bishop, a discerning and understanding man, duly called him to appear in order to respond to his father's complaint. [Francis] answered the messenger: "I will appear before the lord bishop, because he is the father and lord of souls."

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Legenda Trium Sociorum, Fontes Franciscani, p. 1391-1392


7Cum autem rumor huiusmodi fieret per plateas et vicos civitatis de ipso, tandem pervenit ad patrem, qui audiens talia in ipsum a concivibus fieri, statim surgit quaerere ipsum, non ad liberandum sed potius ad perdendum. 8Nulla enim moderatione servata, currit tanquam lupus ad ovem, et torvo oculo ac hirsuta facie illum respiciens iniecit impie manus in ipsum. 9Pertrahens autem illum ad domum et per plures dies in carcere tenebroso recludens, nitebatur eius animum verbis et verberibus flectere ad saeculi vanitatem.

18 1Ipse vero, nec motus verbis nec vinculis aut verberibus fatigatus, patienter omma portans, ad sanctum propositum exsequendum promptior et validior reddebatur.

2Patre namque ipsius recedente a domo causa necessitatis urgente, mater eius quae sola cum illo remanserat, factum viri sui non approbans, blandis sermonibus alloquitur filium. 3Quem, cum a sancto proposito revocare non posset, commotis eius visceribus super l ipsum, confregit vincula eumque liberum abire permisit.

4At ipse, gratias omnipotenti Deo referens, ad locum ubi fuerat prius revertitur, et maiori libertate utens tanquam daemonum tentationibus probatus et tentationum documentis instructus, recepto animo securiori ex iniuriis, liberior et magnanimior incedebat.

5Interea pater revertitur et non invento filio, peccata peccatis accumulans, intorquet convicia in uxorem.

19 1Deinde cucurrit ad palatium communitatis conquerens de filio coram consulibus civitatis postulansque ut pecuniam, quam. exspoliata domo asportaverat, facerent sibi reddi. 2Consules autem videntes eum ita turbatum, Franciscum, ut.coram eis compareat, citant sive advocant per praeconem. 3Qui praeconi respondens dixit se per Dei gratiam iam factum liberum et consulibus amplius non teneri, eo quod esset solius altissimi Dei servus. 4Consules vero nolentes ei vim facere dixerunt patri: « Ex quo servitium Dei est aggressus, de potestate nostra exivit ».

5Videns ergo pater quod coram consulibus nihil proficeret, eamdem querimoniam proposuit coram episcopo civitatis. 6Episcopus vero, discretus et sapiens, vocavit eum debito modo, ut compareret super patris querimoniam responsurus. 7Qui respondit, nuntio dicens: « Ad dominum episcopum veniam quia est pater et dominus animarum ».

Francis of Assisi: Early Documents, vol. 2, p. 79

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