The Legend of the Three Companions - 99 

It really happened this way, when the Lord Innocent, a very high, lovely, and strong tree in the world, bent himself so kindly to his wish and request.

Chapter XIII

54From then on, blessed Francis, going around the cities Mt 9:35 and villages, began to preach more widely and more perfectly proclaiming the kingdom of God with confidence, not in the persuasive words of human wisdom, but in the learning and power of the Holy Spirit. 1 Cor 2:4

Strengthened by apostolic authority, he was a forthright preacher of truth, not using fawning words or seductive flattery, because he first convinced himself by action and then convinced others by word, so that he spoke the truth with the greatest fidelity. Even a very great number of learned and well-educated people marveled at his power and truth, which no human had taught, and they hurried to see and hear him as if he were a person of another age.

Drawn by divine inspiration, many people, well-born and lowly, cleric and lay, began to cling to blessed Francis's footsteps, and, after they had abandoned the concerns and vanity of this world, to live under his discipline.

55The blessed father with his sons were staying in a place near Assisi called Rivo Torto where there was a hut abandoned by all. The place was so cramped that they could barely sit or rest. Very often for lack of bread, their only food was the turnips that they begged in their need, here and there.

The man of God would write the names of the brothers on the beams of that hut, so that anyone wishing to rest or pray would know his place, and so that any unusual noise would not disturb the mind's silence in such small and close quarters.

One day while the brothers were staying in that place, a peasant came with his donkey, wanting to stay in that hut with it. And so that he would not be driven away by the brothers, on walking into the hut, he said to his donkey: "Go in, go in, because we will do well in this place."

When the holy father heard the peasant's words and realized his intention, he was annoyed at him, most of all because he made quite an uproar with his donkey, disturbing all the brothers who were then immersed in silence and prayer. Then the man of God said to his




Legenda Trium Sociorum, Fontes Franciscani, p. 1425-1427

4Et revera sic actum est cum dominus Innocentius, arbor in mundo sublimior et pulchrior et fortior, eius petitioni et voluntati se tam benignissime inclinavit.

Caput XIII
- De efficacia praedicationis ipsius
et de primo loco quem habuit
et qualiter fratres stabant ibi et quomodo inde recesserunt.

54 1Exinde beatus Franciscus circuiens civitates et castra coepit ubi que amplius et perfectius praedicare, non in persuasibilibus humanae sapientiae verbis sed in doctrina et virtute Spiritus sancti, annuntians fiducialiter regnum Dei.

2Erat enim veridicus praedicator ex auctoritate apostolica roboratus, nullis utens adulationibus verborumque respuens blandimenta quia quod verbo aliis suadebat hoc primo sibi suaserat opere ut veritatem fidentissime loqueretur. 3Mirabantur sermonum eius virtutem ac veritatem quam non homo docuerat etiam litterati et docti plurimique, ipsum videre et audire velut hominem alterius saeculi festinabant.

4Coeperunt proinde multi de populo, nobiles et ignobiles, clerici et laici, divina inspiratione afflati, beati Francisci vestigiis adhaerere, abiectisque saecularibus curis et pompis sub ipsius vivere disciplina.

55 1Conversabatur autem adhuc felix pater cum filiis in quodam loco iuxta Assisium qui dicitur Rivus Tortus, ubi erat quoddam tugurium ab omnibus derelictum. 2Qui locus ita erat arctus quod ibi sedere vel quiescere vix valebant. 3Ibi etiam saepissime pane carentes solas rapas edebant quas hinc inde in angustia mendicabant.

4Scribebat vir Dei nomina fratrum super trabes illius tugurii, ut quilibet volens quiescere vel orare cognosceret locum suum, et ne in angustia loci modicitate rumor insolens mentis silentium perturbaret.

5Quadam autem die, existentibus fratribus in dicto loco, accidit ut quidam rusticus cum suo asino veniret illuc volens in ipso tugurio cum asino hospitari, et ne repelleretur a fratribus, ingrediens cum asino dixit ad asinum suum: « Intra, intra, quia bene faciemus huic loco ».

6Quod sanctus pater audiens et verbum ac intentionem rustici cognoscens motus est animo super eum, maxime quia ille tumultum magnum fecerat cum suo asino, inquietans omnes fratres qui tunc silentio et orationi vacabant. 7Dixit ergo vir Dei ad fratres:

Francis of Assisi: Early Documents, vol. 2, p. 99