A Mirror of the Perfection (The Lemmons Edition, 1901) - 223 

"While I was praying," Lady Jacoba told the brothers, "a voice within me said, 'Go, visit your father, blessed Francis, without delay, and hurry, because if you delay long you will not find him alive. Moreover, take such-and-such cloth for his tunic, as well as the ingredients for making that particular confection. Also take with you a great quantity of wax for his lamps and some incense, as blessed Francis had written in the letter.'" But the Lord Himself willed to inspire that lady as a reward and consolation for her soul. In this way we would more easily recognize the great holiness of that saint, that poor man, whom the heavenly Father wished to honor so greatly in the days he was dying. He inspired the Kings to travel with gifts to honor the child, His beloved Son, in the days of His birth and His poverty. So too He willed to inspire this noble lady in a faraway region to travel with gifts to honor and venerate the glorious and holy body of His servant the saint, who loved and followed the poverty of His beloved Son with so much fervor and love in life and in death.

One day she made that confection the holy father wanted to eat. He ate only a little of it, however, since he was near death, and daily his body was becoming weaker on account of his illness.

She also had many candles made which would burn around his holy body after his death. From the cloth she had brought for his tunic, the brothers made him the tunic in which he was buried. He ordered the brothers to sew pieces of sackcloth on the outside of it as a sign and example of most holy humility and poverty. It happened, as it pleased the Lord, that during the same week that Lady Jacoba arrived, blessed Francis passed to the Lord.

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From the beginning of his conversion blessed Francis, with God's help, Mk 16:20 like a wise man, established himself and his house, that is, the religion, upon a firm rock, the greatest humility and poverty of the Son of God, calling it the religion of "Lesser Brothers."

On the greatest humility: thus at the beginning of the religion, after the brothers grew in number, he wanted the brothers to stay in hospitals of lepers to serve them. At that time whenever nobles and commoners came to the religion, they were told, among other things, that they had to serve the lepers and stay in their houses.

On the greatest poverty: as stated in the Rule: let the brothers remain as strangers and pilgrims 1 Pt 2:11 in the houses in which they stay. Let them not seek to have anything under heaven, except holy poverty, by which, in this world, they are nourished by God with bodily food and virtue, and, in the next, will attain a heavenly inheritance.

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Speculum Perfectionis (minus), Fontes Franciscani, p. 1762-1765


16Immo dixit fratribus domina Iacoba: « Fratres, dictum fuit michi in spiritu, cum orarem: "Vade et visita patrem tuum, beatum Franciscum, et festina et noli tardare, quoniam, si multum tardaveris, non invenies ipsum vivum; 17insuper talem pannum pro tunica eius portabis et tales res, ut facias ei talem comestionem; similiter pro eius luminaribus in magna quantitate de cera apporta tecum et de incenso similiter" », 18ut fecit scribi in littera beatus Franciscus, 19sed Dominus illi domine voluit inspirare pro mercede et consolatione anime sue, ut melius cognoscamus, quante sanctitatis fuerit iste sanctus, quem Pater celestis tanto honore in diebus sue mortis voluit honorare pauperem. 20Qui regibus inspiravit, ut irent cum [muneribus] ad venerandum et honorandum puerum dilectum Filium suum in diebus nativitatis paupertatis sue, illi nobili domine in remotis partibus voluit inspirare, ut iret ad honorandum et venerandum corpus sanctum et gloriosum sancti servi sui 21qui tanto amore et fervore in vita et in morte dilexit et secutus est paupertatem dilecti Filii sui.

22Paravit fila quadam die comestionem illam sancto patri, de qua desideravit comedere; sed parum comedit ex ea quoniam cotidie eius corpus ex infirmitatibus maximis deficiebat et morti appropinquabatur.

23Similiter fecit fieri multas candelas, ut post eius migrationem coram sancto suo corpore arderent; et de panno, quem pro tunica eius apportavit, fecerunt inde fratres tunicam sibi, cum qua sepultus fuit. 24Et ipse iussit fratribus, ut deberent consuere saccum super ipsam in signum et exemplum sanctissime humilitatis et paupertatis. 25Et factum est, sicut placuit Domino, ut in illa ebdomada, in qua venit domina Iacoba, beatus Franciscus migravit (!) ad Dominum.

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1Beatus Franciscus a principio sue conversionis, Domino cooperante, velut sapiens, seipsum et domum suam, videlicet religionem, fundavit supra firmam petram; videlicet supra maximam humilitatem et paupertatem Filii Dei appellans ipsam Religionem Fratrum Minorum.

2Supra maximam humilitatem unde in principio religionis, postquam fratres ceperunt multiplicari, voluit, quod fratres manerent in hospitalibus leprosorum ad serviendum illis; 3unde tempore illo, quo veniebant ad religionem nobiles et ignobiles, inter alia, que eis annuntiabantur, dicebatur, quod oporteret eis servire leprosis et manere in domibus eorum.

4Supra maximam paupertatem: sicut in regula dicitur, quod fratres tamquam advene et peregrini maneant in domibus, in quibus permanent, et nichil sub celo habere velint, nisi sanctam paupertatem, per quam nutriuntur a Deo in hoc mundo cibis corporalibus et virtutibus et in futuro celestem consequentur hereditatem.

Francis of Assisi: Early Documents, vol. 3, p. 223

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