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 A Collection of Sayings of the Companions of Blessed Francis - 136 

will be the insults and turmoil of demons and perverse men against those who walk simply and humbly that abandoned by all they will be forced to seek out deserted and solitary places, or cross to the non-believers, or scattered to lead a pilgrim's wandering life, having taken worldly clothing, or to hide out among some of the faithful, or to suffer punishment and death under ceaseless calumnies and accusations. And blessed, he said, will be he who in such a whirlwind is able to find a faithful companion. For those who persecute them, moved by evil spirits, will consider it a great service to kill such pestilential people and wipe them out from the earth.

18They do not understand that the demons turn all their force and fury to exterminate at its root all holiness of life and the truth of evangelical poverty and humility, which Christ had mercifully renewed through those two great heavenly lights, namely Dominic and Francis, and to test them, if allowed, right to their foundations. 19When the impious act, they do not understand. For their eyes are blinded lest they see, and their back is ever bent so that, out of blindness, they may keep their intent yoked to evil. 20Having provoked the Lord they fall from grace and incur eternal damnation unless, contrite, they are converted to Christ and see the ways to life and cease to persecute innocent and humble poor people out of hatred and oppression.

21The Lord shall be the refuge of the afflicted; he will save them and rescue them from sinners and free them because they hoped in him. For the Antichrist and his members wretchedly extol themselves against Christ and above Christ. 22Then the poor and faithful servants of Christ, to be conformed to their head, will act confidently and will buy eternal life through death. They will not at all fear choosing to obey God rather than men and to die rather than assent to falsehood and faithlessness. 23These, word for word, are the words of the companions of blessed Francis.

XIII. HOW BLESSED FRANCIS PREACHED TO THE NUNS

1The holy father, prompted by the frequent request of his vicar, that when he stayed at San Damiano, to present the word of God to his daughters, was finally overcome by his insistence and agreed. 2When the Ladies had gathered as usual to hear the word of God, but no less to see their father, he raised his eyes to heaven where he always kept his heart, and began to pray to Christ. 3Then he ordered that some ashes be brought to him; with them he made a circle on the floor around himself, and the rest he placed on his own head. When they saw their blessed father remain in silence within the

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Francis of Assisi: Early Documents, vol. 3, p. 136

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