A Mirror of the Perfection (The Lemmons Edition, 1901) - 237 

And he wanted it to be under the ordinance of the general, who would place a holy family there, cleric brothers and lay brothers who would serve them, and he wanted the place to be kept especially pure and holy in hymns and praises of the Lord. And he used to say: "If the brothers and their places, where they stay, some day stray from the purity and holiness and decency befitting them, I want this place to be a mirror and a good example for the entire religion, a candelabra before the throne of God and before the blessed Virgin. Thus may the Lord have mercy on the faults and failings of the brothers and always preserve and protect this religion, His little plant."

But the brothers who once dwelt there served the father's will. They used to mortify the flesh not only by fasting, but by their many vigils, by cold, nakedness, and manual labor. 2 Cor 11:27 Ps 128:2 [Vulgate, Ps 127:2] For, in order not to remain idle, they very frequently went and helped poor people in their fields, and sometimes these people would give them some bread for the love of God. In this way, they preserved the holiness of the place and with constant prayer day and night and by constant silence. And if, at times, they spoke after the time established for silence, they discussed with the greatest devotion and decorum matters pertaining to the praise of God and the salvation of souls. If it happened, and it rarely did, that someone began to utter useless or idle words, immediately he was corrected by another. And by these and other virtues, they used to sanctify themselves and the place.

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Francis returned when the general began to have a small house built at the ancient site of Saint Mary of the Portiuncula for the brothers who were suffering great need because of those arriving unexpectedly for whom they would, as it should be, give way. Hearing the work on the house, he called the minister telling him: "Brother, this place is the model and example for the entire religion. And it is my will that the brothers of this place endure trouble and need for the love of God, so that the brothers of the whole religion who come here will take back to their places a good example of poverty, rather than have these brothers receive satisfaction and consolation. Otherwise, the other brothers of the religion will take up this example of building in their places. They will say: 'At Saint Mary of the Portiuncula, which is

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Speculum Perfectionis (minus), Fontes Franciscani, p. 1793-1795


12et voluit, quod esset sub ordinatione generalis, qui semper ibi familiam sanctam poneret, fratres clericos et laicos, qui servirent eis, et voluit, quod spetialiter locus ille conservaretur purus et sanctus in himnis et laudibus Domini; 13et dicebat: « Quoniam si fratres et loca ipsorum, ubi manent, a puritate et honestate, que convenit, aliquo tempore deviaverint, iste locus, volo, quod sit speculum et bonum exemplum totius religionis et quoddam candelabrum ante thronum Dei et beatam Virginem, propter quod Dominus propitietur defectibus et culpis fratrum et conservet semper et protegat religionem et plantulam suam ».

14Fratres, vero qui olim ibi morabantur, servabant voluntatem patris; macerabant enim carnem suam, non solum ieiuniis, sed vigiliis multis, frigore et nuditate et labore manuum suarum. 15Multotiens enim, ut non starent otiosi, ibant et iuvabant pauperes homines in agris eorum, et ipsi postea dabant aliquando eis de pane amore Dei. 16Et sic conservabant sanctitatem loci et cum continua oratione die noctuque et continuo silentio 17et, si aliquando loquerentur post terminum silentii, cum maxima devotione et honestate, que ad laudem Dei et animarum salutem pertinebant, tractabant. 18Et si contingeret raro, ut aliquis aliqua verba inutilia vel otiosa inciperet loqui, statim ab alio corrigebatur. 19Et hiis et aliis virtutibus sanctificabant se ipsos et locum.

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1Cum antiquitus in sancta Maria de Portiuncula generalis incepisset facere edificari unam parvam domum pro fratribus, qui mangnam necessitatem patiebantur propter supervenientes, quibus oportebat, quod cederent, rediens beatus Franciscus et audiens laborari in domo, vocavit ministrum dicens illi: 2« Frater, iste locus est forma et exemplum totius religionis, unde magis volo, quod fratres istius loci sustineant tribulationem et necessitatem amore Dei, ut fratres totius religionis, qui huc veniunt, reportent bonum exemplum paupertatis in locis suis, 3quam, si haberent suas satisfactiones et consolationes, et alii fratres de religione sumerent exemplum edificandi in locis suis, dicentes : 4"In loco sancte Marie de Portiuncula, qui est primus locus fratrum,

Francis of Assisi: Early Documents, vol. 3, p. 237

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