The Legend of the Three Companions - 95 

For the more they were separated from the world, the more they were united to God. As they advanced on the way of the cross and the paths of justice, they cleared all hindrances from the narrow path of penance and of the observance of the Gospel, that they might make a smooth and safe path for the future.

Chapter XII
HOW BLESSED FRANCIS WITH HIS ELEVEN COMPANIONS
WENT TO THE PAPAL CURIA
THAT HE MIGHT INFORM HIM OF THEIR PROPOSAL
AND HAVE THE RULE THAT HE HAD WRITTEN CONFIRMED

46Seeing that the Lord would increase his brothers in number and merit, since there were already twelve most perfect men expressing the same belief, blessed Francis said to the eleven, he being the twelfth, their leader and father: "Brothers, I see that the Lord mercifully wants to increase our congregation. Then, going to our mother, the holy Roman Church, let us inform the Supreme Pontiff what the Lord has begun to do through us, that, with his will and command, we may continue doing what we have undertaken."

And since the proposal of their father pleased the other brothers, and they had embarked together with him on the journey to the Curia, he said to them: "Let us make one of us our leader and consider that man a kind of vicar of Jesus Christ, so that wherever he wants to go, we will go, and whenever he wants to rest, we will rest." And they chose Brother Bernard, the first after blessed Francis, and, as the father said, they served him.

They, then, made their way rejoicing and spoke about the words of the Lord, not daring to say anything except for the praise and glory of God and the benefit of the soul, and they frequently spent time in prayer. The Lord, on the other hand, prepared lodging for them, doing what was necessary to minister to them.

47When they arrived in Rome and found the bishop of the city of Assisi there, they were received with immense joy, for he honored blessed Francis and all the brothers with special affection. Not knowing the reason for their arrival, he began to be apprehensive, fearing that they might want to leave their native land, where the Lord had begun to do marvelous things through them. For he rejoiced to have in his diocese such men whose life and conduct he greatly appreciated. After he learned their purpose and understood their plan, however, he was overjoyed and promised them his counsel and help.

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Legenda Trium Sociorum, Fontes Franciscani, p. 1418-1420


6Quanto enim a mundo magis erant divisi, tanto magis erant Deo coniuncti. 7Per viam crucis et semitas iustitiae incedentes, de arcta via poenitentiae et observationis evangelicae offendicula removebant, ut posteris iter planum fieret et securum.

Caput XII
Qualiter beatas Franciscus cum undecim sociis ivit ad curiam papae
ut notificaret ei suum propositum
et faceret confirmari regulam quam scripserat.

46 1Videns autem beatus Franciscus quod Dominus fratres suos numero et merito augmentaret, cum iam essent duodecim viri perfectissimi sentientes idipsum, dixit illis undecim, ipse duodecimus dux et pater eorum: « Video, fratres, quod Dominus congregationem nostram vult misericorditer augmentare. 2Euntes ergo ad matrem nostram sanctam romanam ecclesiam, notificemus summo pontifici quae Dominus per nos facere coepit, ut de voluntate et praecepto ipsius quod coepimus prosequamur ».

3Cumque placuisset aliis fratribus dictum patris et simul cum eo iter arripuissent ad curiam, dixit eis: 4 « Faciamus unum ex nobis ducem nostrum et habeamus ipsum quasi vicarium Iesu Christi ut quocumque declinare voluerit declinemus, et quando hospitari voluerit hospitemur ». 5Et elegerunt fratrem Bernardum, primum post beatum Franciscum, et sicut pater dixerat servaverunt.

6Gaudentes igitur ibant et verba Domini lo quebantur, non audentes aliquid loqui nisi quod ad laudem et gloriam Dei et ad utilitatem animae pertinebat, et frequenter orationi vacabant. 7Dominus autem semper eis praeparabat hospitium, faciens illis necessaria ministrari.

47 1Cum autem venissent Romam et invenissent ibi episcopum civitatis Assisii, ab ipso cum ingenti gaudio sunt suscepti, nam Beatum Franciscum et omnes fratres speciali venerabatur affectu. 2Nesciens tamen causam adventus eorum, coepit turbari, timens ne patriam propriam vellent deserere, in qua Dominus per eos coeperat mirabilia operari. 3Gaudebat enim vehementer tantos viros in suo episcopatu habere, de quorum vita et moribus maxime praesumebat. 4Sed audita causa eorumque intellecto proposito gavisus est valde, spondens eis ad hoc consilium et iuvamen.

Francis of Assisi: Early Documents, vol. 2, p. 95

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