A Mirror of the Perfection (The Lemmons Edition, 1901) - 251 

things and in your actions doing many evil things for which you have lost your souls unless you are converted? It is better to serve the Lord, who will both supply your bodily needs in this world and save your souls in the end.' Then the Lord in His mercy will inspire them to convert and they will be converted because of the humility and charity you show them."

So the brothers got up and did everything as blessed Francis told them. And by the mercy of God and His grace which descended on them, those men listened and observed to the letter point by point all the requests which the brothers asked of them. Further, because of the friendliness and charity the brothers showed them, they began carrying wood on their shoulders to the hermitage. By the mercy of God, through the charity and friendliness that the brothers showed them, some entered religion, others embraced penance, promising in the hands of the brothers no longer to commit these evil deeds, but to live by the work of their hands. Ps 128:2 [Vulgate, Ps 127:2]

The brothers and others who heard or knew about this, were quite amazed, as they reflected on the holiness of blessed Francis, how he had predicted the conversion of those who were of means, perfidious, and wicked human beings, and how quickly they converted to the Lord.

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One time or other some of the brothers told blessed Francis: "Father, don't you see that sometimes bishops do not permit us to preach, allowing us to remain idle in an area for many days before we can preach to the people? It would be better if you managed that the brothers get a privilege from the Lord Pope: it would be the salvation of souls."

He answered them: "You, Lesser Brothers, you do not know the will of God, and will not allow me to convert the whole world as God wills. For I want to convert the prelates first by humility and reverence. Then, when they see your holy life and your reverence for them, they will ask you to preach and convert the people. These will attract the people to you far better than the privileges you want, which would lead you to pride. And if you are free of all avarice, and lead the people to give the churches their due, they will ask you to hear the confessions of their people. Although you should not be concerned about this, for if they are converted, they will easily find confessors.

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Speculum Perfectionis (minus), Fontes Franciscani, p. 1823-1825


" Quid hic statis tota die et fame morimini et multa mala patimini et voluntate et operatione operamini tot mala, pro quibus perdidistis animas vestras, nisi inde conversi fueritis? 13Melius est enim, ut Domino serviatis, et ipse vobis in hoc seculo tribuet necessaria corpori et ad ultimum salvabit animas vestras. 14Et Dominus inspirabit eis per misericordiam suam, ut convertantur etiam propter humilitatem et caritatem vestram, quam ostendistis eis ».

15Surrexerunt ergo fratres et fecerunt omnia, sicut dixit eis beatus Franciscus. 16Et ipsi per misericordiam Dei et gratiam, que descendit super eos, ad litteram, de puncto ad punctum omnes petitiones, quas fratres ab eis petierunt, exaudierunt et observaverunt. 17Immo propter familiaritatem et caritatem, quam ostenderunt eis fratres, ceperunt eis in dorsis suis portare ligna ad eremitorium. 18Ita quod, per misericordiam Dei occasione illius caritatis et familiaritatis, quam fratres illis exhibuerunt, alii intraverunt religionem, alii acceperunt penitentiam promittentes in manibus fratrum se de cetero huiusmodi mala non commictere, sed de labore manuum suarum velle vivere.

19Unde plurimum mirati sunt fratres et alii hoc audientes et scientes, considerantes sanctitatem beati Francisci, quomodo predixerat conversionem illorum, qui erant rei, perfidi et iniqui homines, et qualiter tam cito ad Dominum conversi fuerunt.

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1Aliquando aliqui fratres dixerunt beato Francisco: « Pater, nonne vides, quod aliquando episcopi non permictunt nos predicare, et pluribus diebus permictunt nos stare otiosos in una terra, antequam possimus populo predicare? 2Et melius esset, quod tu impetrares, quod fratres haberent privilegium a domino papa, et esset salus animarum ».

3Quibus ipse respondit: « Vos, Fratres Minores, non cognoscitis voluntatem Dei, et non permictitis me convertere totum mundum, sicut Deus vult. 4Nam ego volo per humilitatem et reverentiam primo convertere prelatos, et cum viderint sanctam vitam nostram et reverentiam ad eos, ipsi rogabunt vos, quod predicetis et convertatis populum. 5Et ipsum vocabunt vobis melius, quam privilegia, que vultis, que vos ducent ad superbiam. 6Et, si fueritis separati ab omni avaritia et inducatis populum, quod reddant ecclesiis iura sua, ipsi rogabunt vos, quod audiatis confessiones populi sui; 7licet de hoc non debeatis curare, quia, si conversi fuerint, bene invenient confessores.

Francis of Assisi: Early Documents, vol. 3, p. 251

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