A Mirror of the Perfection (The Sabatier Edition, 1928) - 255 

Chapter One
PERFECT POVERTY

2
IN THE FIRST PLACE
HOW BLESSED FRANCIS MADE KNOWN HIS WILL AND INTENTION WHICH
HE MAINTAINED FROM THE BEGINNING TO THE END
CONCERNING THE OBSERVANCE OF POVERTY

Brother Riccerio of the Marches, noble by birth and more noble by holiness, was loved by blessed Francis with great affection.a One day he came to visit blessed Francis in the palace of the bishop of Assisi. Among other points he discussed with him the state of the religion and observance of the Rule, he asked him specifically: "Tell me, father, when you first began to have brothers, what was your intention? And what is it now, and what do you believe it will be until the day of your death? Because I want to be sure of your intention and of your first and last wish, so that we, cleric brothers who have many books, may keep them, although we will say that they belong to the religion."

Blessed Francis told him: "I tell you, brother, that it has been and is my first and last intention and will, if the brothers would only heed it, that no brother should have anything except a tunic as the Rule allows us, together with a cord and underwear."

If any brother wanted to ask why blessed Francis in his own time did not make the brothers observe such a strict poverty as he told Brother Riccerio, and did not order it to be observed, we who were with himb would respond to this as we heard from his mouth. Because he told the brothers this and many other things, and also had written down in the Rule what he requested from the Lord with relentless prayer and meditation for the good of the religion, affirming that it was completely according to the Lord's will.

Afterwards when he showed this to the brothers, they seemed harsh and unbearable, for they did not know what was going to happen to the religion after his death. And because he greatly feared scandal for himself and for the brothers, he did not want to argue with them;

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Speculum Perfectionis, Fontes Franciscani, p. 1850-1852


CAPITULUM I (II)
DE PERFECTIONE PAUPERTATIS.

Et primo
qualiter beatus Franciscus declaravit voluntatem et intentionem suam
quam habuit a principio usque ad finem
super observantiam paupertatis.
Caput 2.

1Frater Ricerius de Marchia nobilis genere sed nobilior sanctitate, quem beatus Franciscus magno diligebat affectu, quadam die visitavit beatum Franciscum in palatio episcopi Assisii, et inter alia quae locutus est cum eo de facto religionis et de observantia regulae, interrogavit eura specialiter de hoc, dicens: 2 « Dic mihi, pater, intentionem tuam quam habuisti a principio quando coepisti habere fratres, et intentionem quam habes nunc et credis habere usque ad diem mortis tuae ; 3Ut valeam certificari de tua intentione et voluntate prima et ultima: utrum scilicet nos fratres clerici qui tot libros habemus, possimus eos habere, licet dicamus quod sunt religionis? ».

4Dixit ei beatus Franciscus: « Dico tibi, frater, quod haec fuit et est prima et ultima mea intentio et voluntas, si fratres mihi credidissent, quod nullus fratrum deberet habere nisi vestimentum, sicut regula nostra nobis concedit cum cingulo et femoralibus ».

5Si autem aliquis frater voluerit dicere: cur beatus Franciscus tempore suo non fecit ita strictam paupertatem observari a fratribus, sicut dixit fratri Ricerio, nec ita observandam mandavit, 6nos qui cum ipso fuimus ad hoc respondemus sicut audivimus ab ore ejus, quoniam ipse dixit fratribus haec et alia plurima; et etiam in regula fecit plura scribi, 7quae cum assidua oratione et meditatione a Domino postulabat pro utilitate religionis, affirmans ea penitus esse secundum. Domini voluntatem;

8sed, postquam ostendebat ea fratribus, videbantur eis gravia et importabilia ignorantibus tunc quae ventura erant in religione post mortem ejus. 9Et quia valde timebat scandalum in se et in fratribus, nolebat cum eis contendere,

Francis of Assisi: Early Documents, vol. 3, p. 255

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