A Book of the Praises of Saint Francis (1277-1283) - 39 

9Since they looked down on all earthly things and never loved themselves selfishly, they poured out all their loving affection in common, hiring themselves out to provide for the others' need, seeking not their own interests but those of Christ and of their neighbors.

10Once when a simpleton was throwing stones at the brothers, one brother placed himself in front of them, rejoicing that he would be struck rather than his companion.a

11Rooted in charity and humility, one respected the other as if he were his master. Whoever among them excelled because of a position or grace seemed even more humble and self-effacing than the others. If anyone happened to say something that displeased another, he would not rest until, with the greatest humility, he confessed his fault to that brother. They gathered together out of desire, and were delighted to stay together; but they found separation hard, parting bitter. But truly obedient soldiers, they never dared to place anything before holy obedience, knowing nothing about distinguishing precepts. They almost ran headlong, to carry out what they were asked with no thought of contradicting it.

16Whatever they were ordered, they considered to be the Lord's will. Thus it was pleasant and easy for them to fulfill everything. They eagerly asked not be sent to the lands of their origin so that they might observe the words of the Prophet: I have become an outcast to my brothers, a stranger to my mother's sons. Ps 69:9 [Vulgate, Ps 68:9]

18They always found themselves in the Spirit's joy, because they did not possess the stuff of turmoil. They exulted in tribulations as those placed at a great advantage, and they prayed to God for their persecutors. Seeing this, many were converted to them.

20When the rich of the world went out of their way to visit them, they received them quickly and kindly, and would invite them to call them back from evil, and prompt them to penance. Wherever they met men on the roads or in the piazzas, the brothers would encourage them to love and to fear their Creator. They would more willingly accept hospitality among priests than among other seculars. But when they could not obtain lodging, they would inquire who in that place was God-fearing with whom they could be more suitably lodged. And although they were extremely poor, they were always generous in giving to all who asked of them, sharing the alms given to them.

25They so spurned earthly things that they barely accepted the most basic necessities of life. They were content with a single tunic,

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Liber de Laudibus Beati Francisci, Fontes Franciscani, p. 1258-1260


9[Et quidem cum cuncta terrena despicerent] et se nunquam amore privato diligerent, sed totius amoris affectum in commune refunderent, se ipsos, ut aliorum subvenirent necessitati, impendere satagebant non sua, sed quae Christi et proximi sunt quaerentes.

10Unde semel fatuo quodam lapides iacente in fratres, alter frater se opposuit ictibus, malens se percuti, quam socius laederetur.

11In caritate et humilitate fundati, unus reverebatur alium, quasi dominus suus esset. 12Quicumque inter eos officio vel gratia praecellebat, humilior et vilior ceteris videbatur. 13Si quis casu diceret quod alii displiceret, non poterat quiescere, donec ei cum humilitate maxima diceret culpam suam. 14Desiderabiliter conveniebant, delectabilius simul erant, sed gravis erat utrinque separatio, amarum divortium; 15sed nihil obedientiae sanctae audebant praeponere obedientissimi milites, qui nihil scientes discernere in praeceptis ad iniuncta quaeque, omni contradictione remota, quasi praecipites concurrebant.

16Quidquid enim praecipiebatur eis, putabant praeceptum esse per Domini voluntatem, et ideo erat eis suave et facile omnia adimplere. 17Poscebant sollicite, ne mitterentur in terras, unde fuerant oriundi, ut verbum propheticum observarent: Extraneus factus sum fratribus meis et peregrinus filiis matris meae.

18Semper erant in gaudio spiritus, quia turbationis materiam non habebant. 19In tribulationibus, sicut homines in magno lucro positi, exsultabant et Deum pro suis persecutoribus exorabant. Quod multi videntes convertebantur ad eos.

20Quando ad eos declinabant divites huius mundi, recipiebant eos alacriter et benigne, ut ipsos revocarent a malo et ad poenitentiam provocarent. 21Ubicumque inveniebant homines in viis vel in plateis, confortabant eos, ut Creatorem suum diligerent et timerent. 22Apud sacerdotes hospitabantur libentius quam apud alios saeculares. 23Quando vero non poterant ibi esse, interrogabant, quis esset in loco timens Deum, apud quem possent honestius hospitari. 24Et licet essent nimium pauperes, semper tamen ad compartiendas eleemosynas sibi datas omnibus [a] se petentibus largi erant.

25Terrena omnia sic strenuissime contemnebant, ut vix extreme vitae necessaria recipere paterentur, sola tunica intus et foris quandoque repetiata, femoralibus vilibus et rudi pro cingulo fune contenti.

Francis of Assisi: Early Documents, vol. 3, p. 39

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