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 A Collection of Sayings of the Companions of Blessed Francis - 119 

VI. THOSE GOING AMONG UNBELIEVERS FOR THE LOVE OF CHRIST

1He believed that the highest obedience, in which flesh and blood had no part was by divine inspiration going among the Saracens and non-believers, either out of love of neighbor or the desire for martyrdom. He considered requesting this very pleasing to God, and that the ministers should give them permission and not oppose them, if they see they are fit to be sent, for they will be bound to render an accounting to God.

3The brothers who go can live among them in a two-fold way. One way is not to engage in arguments or dispute in words, being subject to every human creature for God's sake and to acknowledge that they are Christians. The other way is to announce the word of God, when they see it pleases the Lord, in order that they may believe in God the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, and be baptized and become Christians. And let the brothers remember that they have given themselves to our Lord Jesus Christ, and their bodies, for love of whom they must make themselves vulnerable to their enemies, both visible and invisible, because the Lord says, "Whoever loses his life because of me will save it in eternal life."

VII. THE PLACE OF SAINT MARY OF THE ANGELS

1Seeing that God willed to increase the number Acts 6:7 of brothers, blessed Francis told them: "My dearest brothers and sons, I see that the Lord wants you to increase. Therefore, it seems good and religious to me to receive from the bishop and the canons of San Rufino, or from the abbot of the monastery of Saint Benedict, some small church where the brothers might say their hours and have next to it a house built where they can sleep and care for their needs. This place is not suitable and is very small for the brothers, since the Lord pleases to increase them, and especially because here we do not have a church where the brothers can say their hours. And, should one die, it would not be proper to bury him here or in a church of the secular clergy."

4This speech pleased the other brothers.

So he got up and went to the bishop of Assisi. He made the same speech before the bishop which he had made to the brothers. "Brother," the bishop replied, "I do not have any church that I can give you." Then he went to the canons of San Rufino and said the same thing. The canons replied as the bishop did. Then he went to the monastery of Saint Benedict under Assisi,a and placed the same

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Francis of Assisi: Early Documents, vol. 3, p. 119

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