A Mirror of the Perfection (The Lemmons Edition, 1901) - 231 

the Lord punishes and corrects those whom He loves through the demons, who are His police and act as His ministers in this office.

"Even a perfect religious very often sins in ignorance. Consequently if he does not realize his sin, he is punished by the devil so that he may see and carefully reflect internally and externally because of that punishment how he may have offended. For in this life the Lord leaves nothing unpunished in those whom He loves tenderly. By the mercy and grace of God, Rom 12:1 I do not know if I have offended Him in any way which I have not corrected by confession and satisfaction. Indeed the Lord in His mercy granted me this gift. He makes me understand through prayer any way in which I please or displease Him.

"It seems to me that it could be that the Lord punished me through His police because, although the Lord Cardinal gladly does this mercy to me and my body needs to accept, and I can accept it from him confidently, nevertheless, my brothers, who go through the world suffering hunger and many hardships, and other brothers who stay in poor little places and hermitages, may have an occasion for grumbling against me when they hear that I am staying with the Lord Cardinal: 'We are enduring so many hardships while he is having his comforts.' I am bound always to give them good example; because I was given to them, especially for this. For the brothers are more edified when I stay in poor little places rather than in other places. When they hear and know that I am carrying the same trials, they endure theirs with greater patience."

Blessed Francis was always sickly. Even in the world he was by nature a frail and weak man, and each day grew more sickly until the day of his death, he nevertheless considered that he should show a good example to the brothers and always take away from them any occasion for complaining about him, so the brothers could not say: "He has all he needs, but we don't."

Whether he was healthy or sick, until the day of his death, he wanted to endure so much need, that if any of the brothers who knew this, as we did, we who were with him for some time until the day of his death, and if they brought this back to mind, they would not be able to restrain their tears; and when they suffer some need or troubles, they would bear them with greater patience.

And coming to the cardinal, he told him all that had happened and what he said to his companion. And he added: "People have great faith in me and think that I am a holy man, and this night the devils expelled me from the cell." He said this about the tower which was within the city wall where he wanted to stay as in a remote cell.

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Speculum Perfectionis (minus), Fontes Franciscani, p. 1781-1782


sic Dominus, quos diligit, per castaldos suos, videlicet per demones, qui in hoc ministerio sunt eius ministri, corripit et castigat.

4Multotiens enim ignoranter peccat etiam perfectus religiosus; 5unde, cum non cognoscit peccatum suum, castigatur a diabulo, ut videat et consideret propter illam castigationem diligenter interius et exterius ea, in quibus offendit; 6quia quos tenere diligit Dominus, in presenti vita nichil in ipsis relinquit inultum ». 7« Ego vero per gratiam et misericordiam Domini non cognosco me in aliquo offendisse, quin per confessionem et satisfactionem non emendaverim. 8Immo etiam per misericordiam suam hoc donum contulit michi ut, de omnibus, in quibus sibi debeam placere et displicere, in oratione michi cognitionem tribuat.

9Sed potest esse, ut michi videtur, quod ideo Dominus per castaldos suos me castigaverit, quia, licet dominus cardinalis libenter michi faciat misericordiam, et corpori meo sit necesse recipere et confidenter ab eo recipere valeam, 10tamen fratres mei, qui vadunt per mundum sustinendo famem et multam tribulationem, et alii fratres, qui manent in pauperculis locis, cum audierint, quod maneo apud dominum cardinalem, occasionem murmurandi adversum me habere [poterunt] dicentes: 11“Nos substinemus tot necessitates, et ipse habet consolationes suas”. 12Unde semper teneor, illis dare bonum exemplum, maxime quia in hoc sum datus illis. 13Nam magis hedificantur fratres, cum maneo in pauperculis locis inter ipsos, quam in aliis locis; et cum maiori patientia suas tribulationes et necessitates fratres portant, cum audiunt et sciunt me idem supportare ».

14Et licet infirmus semper fuisset beatus Franciscus, quoniam in seculo fuit fragilis et debilis homo secundum naturam et cotidie, usque ad diem mortis sue esset infirmior, 15tamen considerabat, ut fratribus exhiberet bonum exemplum et ut occasionem murmurandi semper de se tolleret eis; videlicet ut non possent dicere fratres: 16« Ipse habet necessitates suas et nos non habemus ».

17Quod in sanitate eius et in infirmitate usque ad diem mortis eius [tot voluit pati necessitates, 18quod quicumque fratrum scirent sicut nos qui per aliquod tempus usque ad diem mortis eius] cum ipso fuimus, et vellent reducere ad memoriam, non possent se a lacrimis continere et, cum paterentur aliquas necessitates et tribulationes, cum maiori patientia ipsas supportarent.

19Et veniens ad cardinalem narravit ei, que sibi acciderant et que socio dixerat 20et dixit ei:« Homines magnam fidem habent in me et credunt me sanctum hominem, et ecce ista nocte demones expulerunt me de carcere ». 21Hoc dicebat de turri, que erat in muro urbis, in qua remote tanquam in carcere manere volebat;

Francis of Assisi: Early Documents, vol. 3, p. 231

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