The Legend of the Three Companions - 102 

help the good to do penance by providing them with the necessities of life. He added: "The brothers' way of life among the people should be such that whoever hears or sees them glorifies and praises the heavenly Father with dedication."

For his great desire was that he, as well as his brothers, would abound in such good deeds for which the Lord would be praised. He used to tell them: "As you announce peace with your mouth, make sure that greater peace is in your hearts. Let no one be provoked to anger or scandal through you, but may everyone be drawn to peace, kindness, and harmony through your gentleness. For we have been called to this: to heal the wounded, bind up the broken, and recall the erring. In fact, many who seem to us to be members of the devil will yet be disciples of Christ."

59Moreover, the pious father used to reprove his brothers who to him were too austere, exerting too much effort in those vigils, fasts and corporal punishments. Some of them afflicted themselves so harshly to repress within them every impulse of the flesh, that they seemed to hate themselves. The man of God forbade them, admonishing them with kindness, reprimanding them with reason, and binding up their wounds with the bandages of wholesome precepts.

Among the brothers who had come to the chapter, no one dared to discuss worldly matters, but they spoke of the lives of the holy fathers, and how they could better and more perfectly find the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ. If some of the brothers who came to the chapter experienced any temptation or tribulation, upon hearing blessed Francis speaking so sweetly and fervently, and on seeing his penance, they were freed from their temptations and were miraculously relieved of the tribulations. For, while suffering with them, he spoke to them, not as a judge, but as a merciful father to his children, or a good doctor to the sick, knowing how to be sick with the sick and afflicted with the afflicted. Nevertheless he duly rebuked all delinquents, and restrained the obstinate and rebellious with an appropriate punishment.

When a chapter had ended, he would bless all the brothers and assign each of them to individual provinces. To anyone possessing the Spirit of God and an eloquence suitable for preaching, whether cleric or lay, he gave permission to preach. When those men received his blessing with great joy of spirit, they went throughout the world as pilgrims and strangers, taking nothing on their way except the books in which they could say their Hours. Whenever they found a priest, rich or poor, good or bad, bowing humbly they

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Legenda Trium Sociorum, Fontes Franciscani, p. 1430-1432


domini sunt in quantum bonos adiuvant ad poenitentiam faciendam eis necessaria corporis ministrantes, 3haec quoque dicens addebat: « Talis deberet esse fratrum conversatio inter gentes ut quicumque audiret vel videret eos glorificaret Patrem caelestem et devote laudaret ».

4Magnum namque desiderium eius erat ut tam ipse quam fratres sui talibus operibus abundarent pro quibus Dominus laudaretur, et dicebat illis: « Sicut pacem annuntiatis ore, sic in cordibus vestris et amplius habeatis. 5Nullus per vos provocetur ad iram vel scandalum, sed omnes per mansuetudinem vestram ad pacem, benignitatem et concordiam provocentur. 6Nam ad hoc vocati sumus ut vulneratos curemus, alligemus confractos d et erroneos revocemus. 7Multi enim, videntur nobis esse membra diaboli qui adhuc discipuli Christi erunt ».

59 1Arguebat praeterea pius pater fratres suos qui nimis erant sibi ipsis austeri, vigiliis, ieiunus e et corporalibus exercitiis nimium insudantes. 2Quidam enim se tam graviter affligebant ut cuncta in se carnis reprimerent incentiva, quod quilibet videbatur odire seipsum. 3Quos vir Dei prohibebat, admonens eos benigne et rationabiliter reprehendens, atque ipsorum vulnera alligans salutarium vinculis praeceptorum.

4Inter fratres vero qui ad capitulum veniebant nullus audebat negotia saecularia recitare, sed colloquebantur de vitis sanctorum patrum et quomodo melius et perfectius possent invenire gratiam Domini Iesu Christi. 5Si qui autem de fratribus qui ad capitulum venerant aliquam tentationem vel tribulationem habebant, audiendo beatum Franciscum loquentem ita dulciter et ferventer, eiusque videndo paenitentiam, liberabantur a tentationibus et tribulationibus sublevabantur mirifice. 6Compatiens namque loquebatur eis non ut iudex sed ut pater misericors filiis et medicus bonus infirmis, sciens cum infirmantibus infirmari et cum tribulatis affligi. 7Corripiebat nihilominus debite omnes delinquentes, atque contumaces et rebelles animadversione debita coercebat.

8Expleto autem capitulo, benedicebat omnibus fratribus et ad singulas provincias singulos destinabat. 9Quicumque ex ipsis spiritum Dei habebat et eloquentiam idoneam ad praedicandum, sive clericus sive laicus esset, dabat ei licentiam praedicandi. 10Ipsi vero recipientes benedictionem illius cum magno gaudio spiritus, tanquam peregrini et advenae ibant per mundum, nihil in via portantes nisitantum libros in quibus possent dicere horas suas. 11Ubicumque autem inveniebant sacerdotem, divitem vel pauperem, bonum vel malum, inclinantes se humiliter ei reverentiam faciebant

Francis of Assisi: Early Documents, vol. 2, p. 102

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