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 The Legend of the Three Companions - 80 

Then he came before the bishop and was received by him with great joy. "Your father," the bishop said to him, "is infuriated and extremely scandalized. If you wish to serve God, return to him the money you have, because God does not want you to spend money unjustly acquired on the work of the church. [Your father's] anger will abate when he gets the money back. My son, have confidence in the Lord and act courageously. Do not be afraid, for He will be your help and will abundantly provide you with whatever is necessary for the work of his church."a

20Then the man of God got up, joyful and comforted by the bishop's words, and, as he brought the money to him, he said: "My Lord, I will gladly give back not only the money acquired from his things, but even all my clothes." And going into one of the bishop's rooms, he took off all his clothes, and, putting the money on top of them, came out naked before the bishop, his father, and all the bystanders, and said: "Listen to me, all of you, and understand. Until now I have called Pietro di Bernardone my father. But, because I have proposed to serve God, I return to him the money on account of which he was so upset, and also all the clothing which is his, wanting to say from now on: ‘Our Father who are in heaven,' Mt 6:9 and not ‘My father, Pietro di Bernardone.'" At that moment, the man of God was found to be wearing under his colored clothes a hair shirt next to his skin.

Then his father, overcome with unbearable pain and anger, took the money and all the clothing. While he was carrying these home, those who were present at this spectacle were indignant at him, for he left nothing for his son to wear. Moved by piety, they began to weep over him.

The bishop, focusing his attention on the man of God's frame of mind and enthusiastically admiring his fervor and determination, gathered him into his arms, covering him with his mantle. For he clearly understood his deeds were prompted by divine counsel, and realized that what he had seen contained no small mystery. And so, from that moment, he became hishelper,exhorting, encouraging, loving, and embracing him with the depths of his charity.

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Legenda Trium Sociorum, Fontes Franciscani, p. 1392-1393


8Venit igitur ad episcopum et ab ipso cum magno gaudio est receptus. 9Cui episcopus ait: « Pater tuus est contra te turbatus et scandalizatus valde. 10Unde, si tu vis Deo servire, redde illi pecuniam quam habes, quae, quoniam forte est de iniustis acquisitis, non vult Deus ut eroges eam in opus ecclesiae, propter peccata patris tui cuius furor mitigabitur ea recepta. 11Habeas ergo, fili, fiduciam in Domino et viriliter age, nolique timere quia ipse erit adiutor tuus et pro ecclesiae suae opere abundanter tibi necessaria ministrabit ».

20 1Surrexit igitur vir Dei, laetus et confortatus in verbis episcopi, et coram ipso portans pecuniam ait illi: « Domine, nontantum pecuniam quae est de rebus suis volo ei reddere gaudenti animo, sed etiam vestimenta ». 2Et intrans cameram episcopi exuit omnia vestimenta sua et, ponens pecuniam super ipsa, coram episcopo et patre aliisque adstantibus, nudus foras exivit, 3et dixit: « Audite omnes et intelligite. Usque modo Petrum Bernardonis vocavi patrem meum, sed, quia Deo servire proposui, reddo illi pecuniam pro qua erat turbatus et omnia vestimenta quae de suis rebus habui, volens amodo dicere: Pater noster qui es in caelis, non pater Petre Bernardonis ». 4Inventus est autem vir Dei tunc cilicium habere ad carnem sub vestibus coloratis.

5Surgens ergo pater eius, nimio dolore et furore succensus, accepit denarios et omnia vestimenta. 6Quae dum portaret ad domum, illi qui ad hoc spectaculum fuerant indignati sunt contra eum, quia nihil de vestimentis filio reliquerat. 7Super Franciscum vero, pietate commoti, coeperunt fortiter lacrimari.

8Episcopus autem, animum viri Dei diligenter attendens atque fervorem et constantiam eius vehementer admirans, ipsum inter brachia sua recollegit, operiens eum pallio suo. 9Intelligebat enim aperte facta ipsius ex divino esse consilio et agnoscebat ea quae viderat non parvum mysterium continere. 10Sicque ex tunc factus est eius adiutor, exhortando et fovendo ipsum ac dirigendo et amplexando in visceribus caritatis.

Francis of Assisi: Early Documents, vol. 2, p. 80

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