The Life of Blessed Francis - 537 

offered him money for the repair of the church and for the use of the poor, and humbly requested that he be allowed to stay with him for a time. The priest agreed to his staying there but, out of fear of his parents, would not accept the money that the true scorner of wealth had thrown on a windowsill, valuing it no more than if it were dust.

2 When he learned that the servant of God was spending time Mt 25:5 with this priest, his disturbed father ran to the place. But because [Francis] was still a new athlete of Christ, when he heard the threats of his pursuers and learned in advance of their coming, wanting to leave room for their anger, Rom 12:19 he hid himself in a secret pit. There he remained in hiding for some days, imploring the Lord incessantly with flowing tears to deliver himfrom the hands of those who were persecuting his soul and to fulfill the fervent wishes he had inspired. He was then filled with an excessive joy and began to accuse himself of cowardice. He cast aside his fear, abandoned the pit, and took the road to the city of Assisi.

When the townspeople saw his unkempt face and his changed mentality, they thought he had gone out of his senses. They threw mud and stones from the streets, and shouted insults at him, as if he were insane and out of his mind. But the Lord's servant passed through it as if he were deaf to it all, neither broken nor changed by any wrong. When his father heard the shouting, he ran to him at once, not to free him but rather to destroy him. With no pity, he dragged him home and badgered him first with words, then with blows and chains. But as a result of this he became more fit and eager to carry out what he had begun, recalling that Gospel passage: Blessed are they who suffer persecution for justice' sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Mt 5:10

3 After a little while, when his father had left the country, his mother, who did not approve what her husband had done and had no hope of being able to soften her son's inflexible determination, released him from his chains and permitted him to leave.

He gave thanks to the Almighty Lord and went back to the place he had been before. Returning and not finding him at home, his father reviled his wife with a bitter tongue-lashing and raced to that place shaking so that, if he could not call him back, he might at least drive him from the neighborhood. But strengthened by God, Francis went out on his own to meet his furious father, crying out loudly that binding and beating lead to nothing. In addition, he

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Legenda Maior, Fontes Franciscani, p. 787-789


ad reparationem ecclesiae et pauperum usum pecuniam obtulit, et ut secum se morari pateretur ad tempus, humiliter requisivit. 8Acquievit sacerdos de mora ipsius sed timore parentum pecuniam non recepit, quam verus pecuniarum contemptor in quamdam fenestram proiciens, abiectam velut pulverem vilipendit.

2 1Moram autem faciente servo Dei cum sacerdote praedicto, cum hoc intellexisset pater ipsius, perturbatus animo cucurrit ad locum. 2At ipse, quia novus Christi erat athleta, cum audiret persequentium minas et eorum praesentiret adventum, dare locum irae volens, in quadam occulta fovea se abscondit; 3in qua diebus aliquibus latitando, rogabat Dominum incessanter, lacrymarum imbre perfusus, ut liberaret de manibus persequentium animam suam, et pia quae inspiraverat vota, benigno favore compleret. 4Igitur excessiva quadam completus laetitia, coepit de pusillanimitatis ignavia semetipsum arguere, relictaque fovea et abiecto pavore, versus civitatem Assisii viam aggressus est.

5Quem cum cives cernerent facie squalidum et mente mutatum, ac per hoc alienatum putarent a sensu, luto platearum et lapidibus impetebant et tamquam insano et dementi clamosis vocibus insultabant. 6Famulus autem Domini, nulla fractus aut mutatus iniuria, ut surdus in omnibus pertransibat. 7Cumque clamorem huiusmodi pater audisset, statim accurrens, non ad liberandum eum, sed potius ad perdendum: omni miseratione subtracta, pertractum domi primo verbis, deinde verberibus et vinculis angit. 8Ipse autem ad exsequendum quod coeperat promptior ex hoc et validior reddebatur, recolens illud Evangelii verbum: 9Beati qui persecutionem patiuntur propter iustitiam, quoniam ipsorum est regnum caelorum.

3 1Post modicum vero tempus, patre a patria discedente, mater eius factum mariti non approbans et inflexibilem filii constantiam emolliri posse non sperans, a vinculis absolutum abire permisit.

2At ipse gratias omnipotenti Domino referens, ad locum, in quo prius fuerat, est reversus. 3Rediens autem pater et eum non inveniens domi, convitiis illatis uxori, fremens cucurrit ad locum, ut, si eum revocare non posset, saltem de provincia effugaret. 4Franciscus vero, confortatus a Deo, obvium ultro se obtulit patri furenti, libera voce clamans, se pro nihilo; ducere vincula et verbera eius, insuper et contestans, se pro Christi nomine gaudenter mala omnia subiturum. 

Francis of Assisi: Early Documents, vol. 2, p. 537

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