A Book of the Praises of Saint Francis (1277-1283) - 41 

there was a simple appearance, a modest bearing, and, with their eyes fixed on the ground, their minds were set on heaven.

42The saint taught them they must mortify not only the vices of the flesh, but also their exterior senses through which death enters into the soul. When the emperor Otto passed through that area with great pomp to receive the crown of the empire, the most holy father was staying with the others in that small hut next to the parade route. He did not go outside to look, and did not allow anyone else, except for one, that he might continually remind him that this glory would be only short-lived. Apostolic authority resided in him; so he altogether refused to flatter kings and princes.

45He also used to engage carefully in a daily examination of the brothers. If he found something inappropriate was done, he did not leave it unpunished and he drove from their hearts any negligence. The brothers strove diligently to fulfill not only what he told them as by brotherly advice or by fatherly command, but also what by some sign they recognized he wanted. To bring them to perfection, he used to say that true obedience is not just about a prelate's word, but also about recognizing his will, and in doing what a subject perceives, by a sign, a prelate wants.

48In this way holy simplicity filled them,
purity of life so possessed them,
that they were totally ignorant of duplicity of heart.
For just as there was in them one faith,
so there was one spirit,
one will, one charity, continual unity of spirit,
harmony in living, cultivation of virtues,
agreement of minds, and piety in action.49
These are the lessons of the devoted father
by which he instructed his new sons
not so much in words and speech,
but in deed and in truth,
and in which he renewed
the purpose and zeal of an apostolic life.

50To show what had been approved was approved in heaven, it was revealed in a vision to a holy man in the beginning of the novitiate that the holy Apostles Peter and Paul gave thanks to God each day for the renewal of their lives, and they were praying for the preservation of that religion. When he made this known to blessed Francis, he said: "If the blessed Peter and Paul are daily praying for us, it is only right that we venerate them daily with reverence." Therefore, it

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Liber de Laudibus Beati Francisci, Fontes Franciscani, p. 1261-1262


41Simplex [erat in] eis aspectus, incessus modestus, defixis in terram oculis mentem in coelo habebant.

42Sanctus enim eos docebat non solum carnis vitia, sed etiam exteriores sensus, per quos mors intrat ad animam, mortificare debere. 43Nam cum Otto imperator ad suscipiendam coronam imperii per partes illas cum magna pompa transiret, sanctissimus Pater cum reliquis iuxta viam ipsius transitus in praedicto existens tugurio nec ad videndum foris exivit nec aliquem permisit respicere praeter unum, ut ei denuntiaret constanter, gloriam hanc sibi modicum duraturam. 44Apostolica in eo vigebat auctoritas, et ideo nesciebat regibus et principibus adulari.

45Quotidianam quoque inquisitionem fratrum diligentissime faciebat nihil impune relinquens, si quid minus ratione deprehenderet perpetratum, omnemque ab eis negligentiam abigebat. 46Fratres autem non [ea tantum, quae] fraterno consilio vel paterno imperio eis dicebat, sed [etiam] quae ipsum velle aliquando deprehendebant indicio, efficacissime adimplere studebant. 47Dicebat enim ad perfectionem inducens, veram obedientiam fore non solum Praelati verbo, sed etiam agnitae voluntati parere, et subditum facere quod Praelatum vel signo perciperet velle.

48Sic etiam fratres repleverat sancta simplicitas,
sic eos cordis puritas possidebat,
ut duplicitatem animi penitus ignorarent,
quia sicut una fides,
sic unus spiritus erat in eis,
una voluntas et morum concordia,
conformitas mentium et pietas actionum.
49Haec sunt documenta pii Patris,
quibus non solum lingua,
sed opere et veritate
novos filios informabat
et in quibus apostolicae vitae
propositum et studium renovabat.

50Quod ut approbatum approbaretur in coelo, cuidam sancto viro in illius novitatis principio per visionem ostensum fuit, quod beati Apostoli Petrus et Paulus Domino Iesu de renovatione vitae ipsorum quotidie gratias agentes pro conservati one istius Religionis orabant. 51Quod cum beato Francisco innotuit, ait: « Si beati Petrus et Paulus pro nobis quotidie orant, dignum est, ut et nos ipsos quotidiana reverentia veneremur ». 52Inde factum est,

Francis of Assisi: Early Documents, vol. 3, p. 41

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