The Life of Blessed Francis - 538 

declared he would gladly suffer anything for the name of Christ. When the father, therefore, saw that he could not recall him, he turned his attention to recovering the money. When he finally found it on the windowsill, his rage was dampened a little, and his thirsty greed was somewhat quenched by gulping down the money.

4 Thereupon the father of the flesh worked on leading the child of grace, now stripped of his money, before the bishop of the city that he might renounce his family possessions into his hands and return everything he had. The true lover of poverty showed himself eager to comply and went before the bishop without delaying or hesitating. He did not wait for any words nor did he speak any, but immediately took off his clothes and gave them back to his father. Then it was discovered that the man of God had a hair shirt next to his skin under his fine clothes. Moreover, drunk with remarkable fervor,a he even took off his trousers, and was completely stripped naked before everyone. He said to his father: "Until now I have called you father here on earth, but now I can say without reservation, Our Father who art in heaven,' Mt 6:9 since I have placed all my treasure and all my hope in him." The bishop, recognizing and admiring such intense fervor in the man of God, immediately stood up and in tears drew him into his arms, covering him with the mantle that he was wearing. Like the pious and good man that he was, he bade his servants give him something to cover his body. They brought him a poor, cheap cloak of a farmer who worked for the bishop, which he accepted gratefully and, with his own hand, marked a cross on it with a piece of chalk, thus designating it as the covering of a crucified and half-naked poor man.

Thus the servant of the Most High King
was left naked
that he might follow
his naked crucified Lord, whom he loved.b
Thus the cross strengthened him
to entrust his soul
to the wood of salvation
that would save him from the shipwreck of the world.

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Legenda Maior, Fontes Franciscani, p.


se pro Christi nomine gaudenter mala omnia subiturum. 5Videns itaque pater, quod eum revocare non posset, ad extorquendam pecuniam se convertit; 6qua tandem inventa in fenestrula quadam, aliquantulum ipsius mitigatus est furor, avaritiae siti utcumque per haustum pecuniae temperata.

4 1Tentabat deinde pater carnis filium gratiae pecunia iam nudatum ducere coram episcopo civitatis, ut in ipsius manibus facultatibus renuntiaret paternis et omnia redderet quae habebat. 2Ad quod faciendum se promptum exhibuit verus paupertatis amator, perveniensque coram episcopo, nec moras patitur nec cunctatur de aliquo, nec verba exspectat nec facit; sed continuo depositis omnibus vestimentis, restituit ea patri. 3Inventus est autem tunc vir Dei cilicium habere ad carnem sub vestibus delicatis. 4Insuper ex admirando fervore spiritu ebrius, reiectis etiam femoralibus, totus coram omnibus denudatur, dicens ad patrem: « Usque nunc vocavi te patrem in terris, amodo autem secure dicere possum: Pater noster, qui es in caelis i, apud quem omnem thesaurum reposui et omnem spei fiduciam collocavi ». 5Hoc cernens episcopus et admirans tam excedentem in viro Dei fervorem, protinus exsurrexit et inter brachia sua illum cum fletu recolligens, uti erat vir pius et bonus, pallio, quo erat amictus, operuit, praecipiens suis, ut aliquid sibi darent ad membra corporis contegenda. 6Oblatus est autem ei mantellus pauper et vilis cuiusdam agricolae servientis episcopi, quem ipse gratanter suscipiens, cum caemento quod sibi occurrit, ad modum crucis manu propria consignavit, operimentum formans ex eo crucifixi hominis et pauperis seminudi.

7sic igitur servus Regis altissimi
nudus relictus est,
ut nudum sequeretu
crucifixum Dominum, quem amabat;
8sic utique cruce munitus,
ut animam suam
ligno salutis committeret,
per quod de mundi naufragio salvus exiret.

Francis of Assisi: Early Documents, vol. 2, p. 538

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