The Minor Legend - 689 

Chapter II
THE INSTITUTION OF THE RELIGION
AND THE EFFICACY OF PREACHING

First Lesson

After the work on the three churches was finished, he [1C 21] stayed at the church dedicated to the Virgin. By the merits and prayers of her who gave birth to the price of our salvation, he merited to find the way of perfection through the spirit of evangelical truth infused into him by God. One day during the solemnity of the Mass, that part of the Gospel was read in which the evangelical norm for living was prescribed for the disciples who were sent to preach; namely, do not keep gold, or silver, or money in your girdles, no wallet for your journey, nor two tunics nor sandals, nor staff. Hearing such words, he was soon anointed and adorned by the Spirit of Christ with such power that it transformed him into the described manner of living not only in mind and heart, but also in life and dress. He immediately took off his shoes, put down his staff, and discarded his wallet and its money. He was satisfied with one tunic; he rejected his leather belt and put on a piece of rope for his 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.

Second Lesson

Inflamed totally by the fiery vigor of the Spirit of Christ, he began, as another Elias, to be a model of truth. He also began to lead some to perfect righteousness and still others to penance. His statements were neither hollow nor ridiculous; they were, instead, filled with the power of the Holy Spirit, and they penetrated to the marrow of the heart. They moved his listeners with great amazement, and their powerful efficacy softened the minds of the obstinate. As his holy and sublime purpose became known to many through the truth of his simple teaching and life, some began to be moved to penitence by his example.a After they left all things, they joined

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Legenda Minor, Fontes Franciscani, p. 972-973


II
De institutione Religionis
et efficacia praedicandi.

Lectio prima.

1 1Ecclesiarum itaque trium consummato iam opere, cum in ea quae Virginis erat, moraretur assiduus, illius suffragantibus meritis, quae pretium protulit nostrae salutis, viam perfectionis invenire promeruit per infusum sibi divinitus spiritum evangelicae veritatis. 2Nam cum una dierum inter Missarum solemnia legeretur Evangelium illud, in quo discipulis ad praedicandum missis evangelica norma in vivendo praescribitur, 3ne videlicet possiderent aurum vel argentum nec in zonis pecuniam nec peram deferrent in via nec duas haberent tunicas nec calceamenta nec virgam, 4mox in huiuscemodi verborum auditu tanta eum virtute Spiritus Christi perunxit et induit, ut in formam vivendi praefatam non solum notitia et affectu, verum etiam vita et habitu transformaret. 5Illico enim calceamenta deposuit, reiecit baculum, peram et pecuniam abdicavit, 6unaque contentus tunicula, dimissa corrigia, pro cingulo funem sumpsit, omnem sollicitudinem cordis apponens, qualiter audita perficeret et apostolicae rectitudinis regulae se ipsum per omnia coaptaret.

Lectio secunda.

2 1Denique Spiritus Christi vi fiammea totus accensus, coepit ut alter Elias veritatis aemulator exsistere, 2coepit et aliquos ad iustitiam perfectam inducere, coepit et ceteros ad poenitentiam invitare. 3Erant autem ipsius eloquia non inania nec risu digna, erant virtute sancti Spiritus plena, 4erant medullas cordis penetrantia, ut et in vehementem stuporem audientes converterent et obstinatorum mentes efficacia virtuosa mollirent. 5Innotescente etenim apud multos sublimi eius sanctoque proposito tam ex doctrinae simplicis veritate quam vitae, coeperunt ipsius exemplo viri quidam ad poenitentiam animari et eidem, relictis omnibus, habitu vitaque coniungi,

Francis of Assisi: Early Documents, vol. 2, p. 689

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