A Collection of Sayings of the Companions of Blessed Francis - 134 

salutary mode of life which they have sworn with a firm promise before the Lord to observe to the end.

7Blessed Francis also used to say: "Brothers who are led by an eagerness for learning will find their hands empty in the day of tribulation."

XI. A PROPHECY ABOUT OUR ORDER

1The holy Brother Conrad reported that he had had it from Brother Leo, who was the companion and confessor of Saint Francis, and he heard from his own mouth, that blessed Francis was once at prayer at Saint Mary of the Angels saying: "Lord, spare your people." Christ appeared to him and said: "I gladly grant you that, for it is of great value to me as well. But please do this for me, that your Order stay with me. But a time will come when they will depart from the way in which I put them. Then after that I will give power to the demons, and then if a son goes to his father's home for bread, he will give it to him like a stick on the head.

4["And there shall arise from your Order a Supreme Pontiff. In his time all these things will be fulfilled, and he will be blessed if he does well, but if not, he will die miserably.]a

5"And if the brothers knew of the tribulations of those days, they would already begin to flee, and many shall flee to deserted places. But later they will come out and rebuild the Order in its original perfect state. But woe to those who congratulate themselves over only the appearance of a religious way of living, but grow sluggish in idleness, and fail to resist firmly the tribulations permitted to try the elect. For only those who have been tried will receive the crown of life, those who meantime are vexed by the wickedness of the condemned."

XII. THE ADVICE OF BLESSED FRANCIS FOR THE TIME OF THE ORDER'S TRIBULATION

1The advice of blessed Francis: namely, that in the time of tribulation, having taken on the Rule, his poor brothers would scarcely be able to hide among the faithful two by two. Some would betake themselves with tribulations to the lands of the non-believers and there find rest. Others would hide in the deserted places and be supported by some of the faithful. He himself, if he found himself in tribulation, would avoid it in order to persuade others to avoid it, lest

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Francis of Assisi: Early Documents, vol. 3, p. 134

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