The Minor Legend - 687 

parents he refused the money. But Francis, now a true scorner of wealth, threw a large number of coins on a windowsill, valuing it no more than if it were dust. Hearing this had enraged his father, and wanting to leave room for his anger, he hid himself for some days in a dark cave where he fasted, prayed and wept. Finally, filled with a spiritual joy and clothed with power from on high, he confidently came forth from the cave and calmly entered the city. When the young people saw his unkempt face and his changed mentality, they thought that he had gone out of his senses. They considered him a fool. They threw mud from the street and shouted insults at him. But this Lord's servant was neither broken nor changed by any wrong. He passed through it as though he were deaf to it all.

Seventh Lesson

His father, raging and fuming because of all this, seemed as if he were forgetful of natural pity. He began to torment with blows and chains the son who had been dragged home. By wearing down Francis's body with physical abuse, he hoped to turn his mind to the attractions of the world. Finally Francis's father learned by experience that this servant of God was most willing to bear any harsh treatment for Christ and that he could not restrain him. He began to insist vehemently that Francis go with him to the bishop of the city and renounce into the bishop's hands his hereditary right to all his father's possessions. The servant of the Lord was determined to carry this out further, and as soon as he came before the bishop, he did not delay nor hesitate or speak or listen to a word. He took off all his clothes instead and, in the presence of those standing around him, discarded even his undergarments. Drunk in spirit,a he was not afraid to stand naked out of love for Him who for us hung naked on the Cross.b

Eighth Lesson

Released now from the chains of all earthly desires, this scorner of the world left the town. While free and in a carefree mood, he was singing praises to the Lord in French in the middle of woods when robbers came upon him. As the herald of the great King he




Legenda Minor, Fontes Franciscani, p. 969-971

sed timore parentum recusante pecuniam, verus ille iam pecuniarum contemptor, in quamdam fenestram pondus metalli proiciens, abiectum velut pulverem vilipendit. 4Sentiens autem, ex hoc adversum se patris concitatum esse furorem, ut irae locum daret, diebus aliquibus in quadam occulta fovea ieiunans, orans et lacrimans latuit, 5tandemque spirituali quadam completus laetitia et virtute indutus ex alto, exterius fiducialiter prodiit et civitatem constanter intravit. 6Quem cum iuvenes cernerent facie squalidum et mente mutatum ac per hoc alienatum putarent a sensu lutoque platearum velut stultum impeterent et clamorosis ei vocibus insultarent, famulus Domini nulla prorsus fractus aut mutatus iniuria, ut surdus in omnibus pertransibat.

Lectio septima.

7 1Prae omnibus autem pater ipsius furens et fremens, tamquam si naturalis esset miserationis oblitus, pertractum domi filium verberibus angere coepit et vinculis, ut, dum eius per molestias corpus attereret, ad mundi blanditias animum inclinaret. 2Experientia tandem certa cognoscens Domini famulum ad quaecumque aspera pro Christo perferenda promptissimum, cum liquido cerneret, quod eum revocare non posset, coepit eidem vehementer insistere, ut episcopum civitatis una secum adiret eiusque renuntiaret in manibus hereditario iuri paternarum, omnium facultatum. 3Ad quod exsequendum Domini servus ultro se offerens, mox ut pervenit coram antistite, nec moras est passus nec cunctatus de aliquo nec exegit verba nec reddidit: 4quin potius vestimenta sic cuncta deposuit, quod et femoralia ipsa reiecit totusque coram adstantibus, ut ebrius spiritu, amore illius nudari non horruit, qui nudus pro nobis in cruce pependit.

Lectio oetava.

8 1Solutus exinde mundi contemptor a vinculis terrenarum cupidinum, dum, civitate relicta, securus et liber laudes Domino in medio nemorum gallica lingua cantaret, occurrentibus sibi latronibus, magni Regis praeco non timuit,

Francis of Assisi: Early Documents, vol. 2, p. 687