The Life of Blessed Francis - 550 

Chapter Four

THE PROGRESS OF THE ORDER UNDER HIS HAND
AND THE CONFIRMATION OF THE RULE

1 Relying on divine grace and papal authority,
with great confidence,
Francis took the road to the Spoleto valley,
that he might fulfill and teach Acts 1:1 Christ's Gospel.
On the way he discussed with his companions
how they might sincerely keep the rule they had accepted,
how they might advance in all holiness and justice before God,
how they should improve themselves
and be an example for others.

The hour was already late as they continued their long discussion. Since they were exhausted from their prolonged activity, the hungry men stopped in a place of solitude. When there seemed to be no way for them to get the food they needed, God's providence immediately came to their aid. For suddenly a man carrying bread in his hand appeared, which he gave to Christ's little poor, and then suddenly disappeared. They had no idea where he came from or where he went.

From this the poor brothers realized
that while in the company of the man of God
they would be given assistance from heaven,
and so they were refreshed more by the gift of divine generosity
than by the food they had received for their bodies.
Moreover,
filled with divine consolation,
they firmly decided
and irrevocably resolved never
to withdraw from the promise to holy poverty,
be it from starvation or from trial.

2 When they arrived in the Spoleto valley, going back to their holy proposal, they began to discuss whether they should live among

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Legenda Maior, Fontes Franciscani, p. 803-804


Caput IV

De profectu Ordinis sub manu ipsius
et confirmatione Regulae prius approbatae.

1 1Fretus exinde Franciscus superna gratia et auctoritate papali,
cum fiducia multa
versus vallem Spoletanam iter arripuit,
ut Evangelium Christi faceret et doceret.
2Dum autem in via conferret cum sociis,
qualiter regulam quam susceperant, sincere servarent,
qualiter in omni sanctitate ac iustitia coram Deo incederent,
qualiter in seipsis proficerent
et essent aliis in exemplum,

diutius collatione protracta, hora pertransiit. 3Et cum iam lassati essent ex diuturnitate laboris, esurientes in quodam loco solitudinis substiterunt. 4Sane cum omnis via deesset, qua possent sibi de victu necessario providere, statim affuit providentia Dei. 5Nam subito apparuit homo afferens panem in manu, quem pauperculis Christi dedit, subitoque disparuit, incognitus unde venerit vel quo iret.

6Cognoscentes autem per hoc pauperes fratres,
supernum sibi in comitatu
viri Dei adesse praesidium,
magis dono liberalitatis divinae
quam cibo carnis propriae sunt refecti.
7Insuper
divina consolatione repleti,
statuerunt firmiter
et irrevocabiliter confirmarunt,
nullius inediae aut tribulationis
impulsu a sanctae paupertatis resilire promisso.

2 1Exinde in vallem Spoletanam cum sancto proposito redeuntes, tractare coeperunt, utrum inter homines conversari deberent,

Francis of Assisi: Early Documents, vol. 2, p. 550

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