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 A Collection of Sayings of the Companions of Blessed Francis - 115 

Christ will send them one worthy of their worth, not a shepherd but a destroyer, who will mete out retribution to them according to their conniving and striving, and will set in motion a great trial, as they deserve, so that once punished by God's just judgment they may return, humbled, to the state of their vocation. Thus they will be completely uprooted from the life-giving and salvific way of living that they promised in the Lord's presence to observe until the end. The truth of the preachers will be silent in practice or trodden underfoot, and thus the holiness of those professing it will be held in contempt. And those who fervently cling to piety will endure countless persecutions.

9At that time, he used to say, there will be such great insults and upheaval of demons and wicked humans against those walking in this way that, abandoning all, they will seek to reach deserted and solitary places and cross over to be among the unbelievers. Scattered, they will take back secular clothing, leading a pilgrim's wandering life, or hide in the homes of the faithful, amidst innumerable calumnies and insults, and will endure suffering and death. And, he would say, blessed is he who then will be able to find a faithful companion, since those persecuting them, driven by evil spirits, will say that it is a great service to God to wipe out such harmful people from the face of the earth.

II. THE INTENTION OF SAINT FRANCIS ABOUT THE OBSERVANCE OF THE RULE, WHERE IT SAYS, "WHEREVER THERE ARE BROTHERS WHO KNOW AND REALIZE"

1When the brothers are certain and have learned from experience that in the places where they are staying they cannot observe the Rule according to a pure intention and true uprightness because of the bad habits practiced in the places, inevitably leading, for different reasons, to breaking the Rule, the brothers can and must have recourse to the ministers. As Brother Leo testifies, who was present, along with Brother Dominic,a when Saint Francis delivered the second Rule to the Lord Pope Honorius for confirmation at Christ's command, the Supreme Pontiff carefully examined everything contained in the Rule. He said to Blessed Francis: "Blessed is he who, strengthened by the grace of God, will observe this Rule happily and devotedly, for all the things written in it are holy and Catholic and perfect. However there are problems with these words: "they can and should have recourse to their ministers. Let the ministers,

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Francis of Assisi: Early Documents, vol. 3, p. 115

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