A Mirror of the Perfection (The Lemmons Edition, 1901) - 225 

while he is alive except shame and trouble, because, while he is alive, the flesh is always opposed to God's gifts."


Blessed Francis wanted to be humble among his brothers, in order to pursue and preserve greater humility. A few years after his conversion he resigned the office of prelate before all the brothers during a chapter held at Saint Mary of the Portiuncula. "From now on," he said, "I am dead to you. But here is Brother Peter di Catanio: let us all, you and I, obey him."

Then all the brothers began to cry loudly and weep profusely, but blessed Francis bowed down before Brother Peter and promised him obedience and reverence. From that time on, until his death, he remained a subject, like one of the other brothers.


He wished to be subject to the general minister and the provincials,a so that in whatever province he stayed or preached, he obeyed the minister of that province. What is more, a long time before his death, for the sake of greater perfection and humility, he said to the general minister: "I want you to put one of my companions in your place regarding me, so that I may obey him as I would obey you. For the sake of good example and the virtue of obedience, in life and in death I always want you to be with me."

From that time until his death, he always had one of his companions as a guardian whom he obeyed in place of the general minister.b One time he said to his companions: "Among other favors, the Most High has given me this grace: I would obey a novice who entered our religion today, if he were appointed my guardian, just as readily as I would obey him who is the first and the eldest in the life and religion of the brothers. A subject should not consider his prelate, a human being, but God, for love of Whom he is subject to him." He likewise said: "There is no prelate in the whole world who would be as feared by his subjects and brothers as the Lord would make me feared by my brothers, if I wished. But the Most High gave me this grace: that I want to be content with all, as one who is lesser in the religion."




Speculum Perfectionis (minus), Fontes Franciscani, p. 1767-1769

tamquam lignum vel pictura, sed soli Deo honor et gloria reddenda est et sibi verecundia et tribulatio, dum vivit, quia semper, dum, vivit, caro est contraria beneficiis Dei ».


1Inter fratres suos beatus Franciscus humilis esse voluit, quoniam ad consequendam et conservandam maiorem humilitatem paucis annis elapsis post conversionem, suam in quodam capitulo apud sanctam Mariam de Portiuncula resignavit officium prelationis coram omnibus fratribus dicens: 2« Amodo sum mortuus vobis; sed ecce frater Petrus Cathanii, cui ego et vos omnes obediamus ».

3Tunc fratres omnes ceperunt alta voce plorare et fortiter lacrimari . 4Et inclinans se beatus Franciscus coram fratre Petro promisit obedientiam et reverentiam ei, 5et exinde usque ad mortem suam permansit subditus, quasi unus de aliis fratribus.


1Immo non solum generali ministro et provincialibus subditus esse voluit, quoniam, in quacumque provincia morabatur vel iret ad predicandum, obediebat ministro illius provincie, 2sed etiam propter maiorem perfectionem et humilitatem longo tempore ante mortem suam quadam vice dixit generali ministro: 3« Volo, ut commictas vicem tuam de me semper uni de sociis meis; cui obediam vice tua; quoniam propter bonum [exemplum] et virtutem obedientie in vita et [in] morte semper volo, quod maneas mecum ».

4Et exinde usque ad mortem semper habuit unum de sociis guardianum, cui obediebat vice ministri generalis. 5Immo quadam vice dixit sociis: « Hanc gratiam inter alias contulit michi ipse Altissimus, quia ita diligenter obedirem fratri novitio, qui intraret hodie religionem, si esset meus guardianus, sicut illi, qui esset primus et antiquus in vita et religione fratrum. 6Subditus quoniam suum prelatum non hominem, sed Deum considerare debet, pro cuius amore sibi subditus est ». 7Similiter dixit: « Non est aliquis prelatus in toto mundo, qui tantum timeatur a subditis et fratribus suis, quantum Dominus faceret me timeri a fratribus meis, si vellem; 8sed hanc gratiam contulit michi ipse Altissimus quod volo esse contentus omnibus sicut [qui] minor est in religione ».

Francis of Assisi: Early Documents, vol. 3, p. 225