The Legend of the Three Companions - 101 

there twice a year, that is, on Pentecost and on the Dedication of Saint Michael.a

At Pentecost, all the brothers used to gather at the church of Saint Mary and discuss how they could better observe the Rule. They appointed brothers throughout the various provinces who would preach to the people, and assigned other brothers in their provinces. Saint Francis, however, used to give admonitions, corrections, and directives as it seemed to him to be according to the Lord's counsel. Everything that he said to them in word, however, he would show them in deed with eagerness and affection.

He used to revere prelates and priests of the holy Church, and honored the elderly, the noble, and the wealthy. Moreover, he intimately loved the poor, suffering deeply with them, and he showed himself subject to all.

Although he was more elevated than all the brothers, he still appointed one of the brothers staying with him as his guardian and master. He humbly and eagerly obeyed him, in order to avoid any occasion of pride. For in the presence of people, he lowered his head even to the ground; so that now in the presence of God's saints and chosen ones, he merits to be exalted in the divine sight.

He zealously used to admonish the brothers to observe the holy Gospel and the Rule which they had firmly promised; and particularly to be reverent and devoted about divine services and ecclesiastical regulations, hearing Mass devotedly, and adoring the Body of the Lord even more devotedly. He wanted priests who handle the tremendous and greatest sacraments to be honored uniquely by the brothers, so that wherever they met them, as they bowed their heads to them, they would kiss their hands. And if they found them on horseback, he wanted them not only to kiss their hands but, out of reverence for their power, even the hooves of the horses upon which they were riding.

58He also admonished the brothers not to judge anyone, nor to look down upon those who live with refinement and dress extravagantly or fashionably. For, he would say, their God is ours, the Lord Who is capable of calling them to Himself and justifying those called. He also used to tell them he wanted the brothers to show reverence to these people as their brothers and lords. They are brothers, because we were all created by one Creator; they are lords, because they




Legenda Trium Sociorum, Fontes Franciscani, p. 1429-1430

ordinavit beatus Franciscus quod ibi fieret capitulum bis in anno, scilicet in Pentecoste et in Dedicatione Sancti Michaelis.

2In Pentecoste conveniebant omnes fratres apud Sanctam Mariam et tractabant qualiter melius possent regulam observare, atque constituebant fratres per diversas provincias qui populo praedicarent, et fratres alios in suis provinciis collocarent. 3Sanctus autem Franciscus faciebat admonitiones reprehensiones et praecepta, sicut ei iuxta consilium Domini videbatur. 4Omnia vero quae dicebat eis per verba, affectuose et sollicite operibus ostendebat.

5Venerabatur praelatos et sacerdotes sanctae Ecclesiae atque seniores nobiles et divites honorabat, pauperes quoque intime diligebat eis viscerose compatiens, omnibusque se subditum exhibebat.

6Cumque omnibus fratribus esset sublimior, unum tamen de fratribus secum morantibus constituebat guardianum suum et dominum, cui, ut effugaret a se omnem occasionem superbiae, obediebat humiliter et devote. 7Humiliabat enim inter homines caput suum usque ad terram, ut inter sanctos et electos Dei mereretur in conspectu divino aliquando exaltari.

8Admonebat sollicite fratres ut sanctum evangelium et regulam quam promiserant firmiter observarent, et maxime ut circa divina officia et ecclesiasticas ordinationes essent reverentes et devoti, audientes devote missam et Corpus Domini devotissime adorantes. 9Sacerdotes quoque qui tractant veneranda et maxima sacramenta voluit singulariter a fratribus honorari, intantum ut ubicumque illos invenirent caput coram eis flectentes oscularentur manus eorum, 10et cum ipsos equitantes invenirent, volebat ut oscularentur non solum manus eorum sed etiam pedes equorum super quos equitarent, propter reverentiam potestatis eorum.

58 1Admonebat etiam fratres ut nullum hominem iudicarent neque despicerent illos qui delicate vivunt et curiose ac superflue induuntur: nam Deus est noster et ipsorum Dominus potens illos ad se vocare et vocatos iustificare b. 2Dicebat etiam quod volebat ut fratres revererentur tales sicut fratres et dominos suos, quia fratres sunt in quantum ab uno creatore creati, domini sunt in quantum bonos adiuvant ad poenitentiam faciendam eis necessaria corporis ministrantes,

Francis of Assisi: Early Documents, vol. 2, p. 101