The Legend of the Three Companions - 89 

they suffered extreme want. Even their own relatives and families would persecute those men, and others in the city mocked them as senseless and stupid, because no one at that time would abandon what was his to go begging alms from door to door.

The bishop of the city of Assisi, to whom the man of God would frequently go for counsel, receiving him kindly, told him: "It seems to me that your life is very rough and hard, especially, in not possessing anything in this world." To which the saint said: "Lord, if we had possessions, we would need arms for our protection. For disputes and lawsuits usually arise out of them, and, because of this, love of God and neighbor are greatly impeded. Therefore, we do not want to possess anything in this world." The man of God's response greatly pleased the bishop. For Francis scorned all worldly goods, but money most of all; so much so, that in all his rules he most forcefully commended poverty and repeated that the brothers be eager to avoid money.

For he composed several rules and tested them, before writing that which he ultimately left to the brothers.a In one of them he expressed his scorn of money: "May we who have left all things, then, be careful of not losing the kingdom of heaven for so little. If we find coins anywhere, let us pay no more attention to them that to the dust we trample underfoot." 

Chapter X
HOW HE PREDICTED TO HIS SIX COMPANIONS
ALL THAT WOULD HAPPEN TO THEM
ON THEIR JOURNEYS THROUGHOUT THE WORLD
EXHORTING THEM TO PENANCE

36Calling together the six brothers, Saint Francis, since he was full of the grace of the Holy Spirit, predicted to them what was about to happen. "Dearest brothers," he said, "let us consider our vocation, to which God has mercifully called us, not only for our own good, but for the salvation of many. We are to go throughout the world, encouraging everyone, more by deed than by word, to do penance for their sins and to recall the commandments of God. Do not be afraid that you seem few and uneducated. With confidence, simply proclaim penance, trusting in the Lord, who conquered the world. Because by his Spirit, He is speaking through and in you,

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Legenda Trium Sociorum, Fontes Franciscani, p. 1407-1409


et ideo maximam penuriam sustinebant. 4Eorum quoque parentes et consanguinei persequebantur illos, aliique de civitate deridebant ipsos tanquam insensatos et stultos, quia tempore illo nullus relinquebat sua ut peteret eleemosynas ostiatim.

5Episcopus vero civitatis Assisii, ad quem pro consilio frequenter ibat vir Dei, benigne ipsum recipiens dixit ei: « Dura mihi videtur et aspera vita vestra, nihil scilicet in saeculo possidere ». 6Cui sanctus ait: « Domine, si possessiones aliquas haberemus, nobis essent necessaria arma ad protectionem nostram. 7Nam inde oriuntur quaestiones et lites soletque ex hoc amor Dei et proximi multipliciter impediri. 8Et ideo nolumus in hoc saeculo aliquid possidere temporale ». 9Et placuit multum episcopo responsio viri Dei, qui cuncta transitoria et praecipue pecuniam contempsit. 10Intantum ut in omnibus regulis suis commendaret potissime paupertatem et omnes fratres sollicitos redderet de pecunia evitanda.

11Plures enim regulas fecit et eas expertus est priusquam faceret illam quam ultimo reliquit fratribus. 12Unde in una ipsarum dixit in detestationem pecuniae: « Caveamus, qui reliquimus omnia, ne pro tam modico regnum caelorum perdamus. 13Et si pecuniam in aliquo loco inveniremus, non curemus plus quam de pulvere quem calcamus ».

Caput X
- Qualiter praedixit sex sociis suis
omnia quae ventura erant illis euntibus per mundum,
exhortans eos ad patientiam.

361Sanctus autem Franciscus, cum. iam plenus esset gratia Spiritus sancti, convocans ad se dictos sex fratres praedixit illis quae ventura erant. 2 « Consideremus, inquit, fratres carissimi vocationem nostram qua misericorditer vocavit nos Deus, non tantum pro nostra sed pro multorum, salute, ut eamus per mundum exhortando omnes plus exemplo quam verbo ad agendam poenitentiam de peccatis suis et habendam memoriam mandatorum Dei. 3Nolite timere quia pusilli et insipientes videmini, sed secure annuntiate simpliciter poenitentiam, confidentes in Domino qui vicit mundum quod spiritu suo loquitur per vos et in vobis ad exhortandum omnes ut convertantur ad ipsum et eius mandata observent.

Francis of Assisi: Early Documents, vol. 2, p. 89

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