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 A Book of the Praises of Saint Francis (1277-1283) - 32 

fully the whole course of his life in words that are entirely authentic and discerning, as God provided for this worthy herald of the saint's heavenly merits.a

6In this work a few other and, occasionally, the same things are touched upon, as the occasion demands, concerning the deeds of the saint and his followers, especially signs revealed after his passing. Many of these were omitted earlier for the sake of brevity, which everyone welcomes; things that apostolic authority recommended are included as much for their authority as for their praise.

7First is the example we should imitate which, if we cannot imitate it perfectly, we should revere. For who could fully follow the footsteps of blessed Francis and of his companions who assisted him? For this reason, even he did not impose the same kind of rigorous poverty and perfection that he himself observed. Instead, he was instructed by a divine oracle to establish a most perfect rule that could nevertheless be observed by all at all times. In observing it, one never departs from the discipline of our holy father, although some customs fluctuate with the change of climate. On the other hand, careful examination of the perfection of the saints possesses the power to incite virtue and to direct our behavior with their light.

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Liber de Laudibus Beati Francisci, Fontes Franciscani, p. 1253-1254


authentico nimirum discretoque sermone descripsit, coelicis sancti meritis dignum Deo providente praeconem.

6Sed hic pauca alia vel eadem interdum, quando res exigit, multis rursum ob gratam omnibus brevitatem omissis, de Sancti suorumque sequacium gestis, praesertim signis post transitum eius ostensis, quae apostolica vel commendat auctoritas, pro laude simul et auctoritate tanguntur.

7Primum enim exemplum est nobis imitandum; debemus enim venerari, si perfecte non possumus imitari. 8Quis enim plene beati Francisci sibique assistentium sociorum vestigia sequi possit? 9Unde nec ipse, qualem servabat paupertatis et perfectionis rigorem, imposuit; sed regulam perfectissimam, quae tamen omnibus et omni foret observabilis tempore, divino instructus oraculo condidit; 10qua servata, nunquam a sancti Patris receditur disciplina, licet aliquae pro temporum varietate consuetudines varientur. 11Valet autem inspecta Sanctorum perfectio ad incitamentum virtutis et mores nostros eorum lumine praevio dirigendos.

Francis of Assisi: Early Documents, vol. 3, p. 32

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