The Life of Blessed Francis - 542 

Chapter Three

THE FOUNDING OF THE RELIGIONa
AND THE APPROVAL OF THE RULE

1 In the church of the Virgin Mother of God,
her servant Francis lingered Mt 25:5
and, with continuing cries,
insistently begged her
who had conceived and brought to birth
the Word full of grace and truth, b
to become his advocate.
Through the merits of the Mother of Mercy,
he conceived and brought to birth
the spirit of the Gospel truth.

One day while he was devoutly hearing a Mass of the Apostles, the Gospel was read in which Christ sends out his disciples to preach and gives them the Gospel form of life, that they may not keep gold or silver or money in their belts, nor have a wallet for their journey, nor may they have two tunics, nor shoes, nor staff. Mt 10:9 Hearing, understanding, and committing this to memory, this friend of apostolic poverty was then overwhelmed with an indescribable joy. "This is what I want," he said, "this is what I desire with all my heart!" Immediately, he took off the shoes from his feet, put down his staff, denounced his wallet and money, and, satisfied with one tunic, threw away his leather belt and put on a piece of rope for a belt. He directed all his heart's desire to carry out what he had heard and to conform in every way to the rule of right living given to the apostles.

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Legenda Maior, Fontes Franciscani, p. 794-795


Caput III

De institutione Religionis
et approbatione Regulae.

1 1In ecclesia igitur Virginis Matris Dei
moram faciente servo ipsius Francisco
et apud eam quae concepit
Verbum plenum gratiae et veritatis,
continuis insistente gemitibus,
ut fieri dignaretur
advocata ipsius,
meritis Matris misericordiae
concepit ipse ac peperit
spiritum evangelicae veritatis.

2Dum enim die quodam Missam de Apostolis devotus audiret, perlectum est Evangelium illud, in quo Christus discipulis ad praedicandum mittendis formam tribuit evangelicam in vivendo, ne videlicet possideant aurum vel argentum, nec in zonis pecuniam, nec peram in via, neque duas tunicas habeant, nec calceamenta deferant, neque virgam. 3Quod audiens et intelligens ac memoriae commendans, apostolicae paupertatis amicus indicibili mox perfusus laetitia: « Hoc est, inquit, quod cupio, hoc quod totis praecordiis concupisco ». 4Solvit proinde calceamenta de pedibus , deponit baculum, peram et pecuniam exsecratur, unaque contentus tunicula, reiecta corrigia, pro cingulo funem sumit, omnem sollicitudinem cordis apponens, qualiter audita perficiat et apostolicae rectitudinis regulae per omnia se coaptet.

Francis of Assisi: Early Documents, vol. 2, p. 542

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