A Collection of Sayings of the Companions of Blessed Francis - 133 

what the brothers say? What do you want to do?" The man stood there, stupefied and astonished at the brothers' words. Then he reckoned himself as knowing nothing. He replied: "I am prepared to do the cooking, and whatever else you want." Then blessed Francis received him and sent him to Rome to do the cooking for the brothers, and he did the cooking there for a month. Afterwards blessed Francis sent him another obedience, that he should carry out the office of guardian there and preach.

15Thus blessed Francis wanted the brothers to enter through the door of humility, and so both the wise and the uneducated should rise from strength to strength in humility, until the Lord inspired the prelates of the Order to exalt them with the grace of God and the virtue of humility, as long as they first have the grace of God and virtues, so they might teach others as much by right behavior as by teaching about the virtues and spiritual power, and produce a harvest of souls.


1As Brother Leo writes, holy father Francis used to say in front of the lord of Ostia and many brothers and clerics and lay people, and also preached frequently to the people, that his brothers, at the instigation of evil spirits, would depart from the way of holy simplicity and highest poverty. They would accept money and bequests and all sorts of other legacies. They would abandon poor and solitary places and would build grand and sumptuous places in towns and cities. These would display not the status of the poor, but the status of the lords and princes of the world. And they would request and obtain letters and privileges from the Church and the Supreme Pontiffs with much cunning and human prudence and impudence. These would not only relax but destroy the purity of their promised rule and life revealed to them by Christ. Armed with these they would presume in their pride to dispute and inflict injury not only on worldly people, but upon other religious and clergy as well. And they would dig themselves a pit into which they would finally fall, and sow seeds from which they would reap many scandals. And Christ would send them one worthy of their worth, not a pastor but an exterminator, who would reward them according to their tricks and strivings. He would render them retribution and start war and bring upon a great trial as they deserved. Thus, they will be bound and ensnared in the lusts of their desires and will be punished by the just judgment of God. Then they will either return humbled to the state of their vocation, or they will be utterly torn from the life-giving and




Francis of Assisi: Early Documents, vol. 3, p. 133