A Mirror of the Perfection (The Sabatier Edition, 1928) - 317 

broader road that leads to death, without paying attention to their profession and calling and good example. They refused to give up this perilous and fatal way that they had begun despite my preaching, my admonitions, and my example that I consistently gave them. Therefore I entrusted the prelacy and governance of the religion to the Lord and to the ministers.

"However, although I renounced the office of prelacy among the brothers, I excused myself before the brothers at the general chapter saying that, because of my illness I could not take care of them and care for them. And yet, if the brothers would have been willing to walk according to my will, I would not want them to have any other minister except me to help and comfort them until the day of my death. As long as a faithful and good subject knows and observes the will of his prelate, then the prelate has to have little concern about him. Rather, I would be so happy at the goodness of the brothers, both on their account and my own. Thus, even if I were lying sick in bed, it would not be considered a burden to me to satisfy them, because my office of prelacy is only spiritual, namely to overcome vices, and spiritually correct and cure them. Inasmuch as I cannot overcome and correct them by preaching, admonitions, and example, I do not want to become an executioner who punishes and scourges, like the powers of this world. For I trust in the Lord. Invisible enemies, the Lord's police, who punish in this world and in the next those who transgress the commandments of God and the vows of their profession, will take revenge on them, having corrected men of this world, and thus they will return to their profession and calling.

"Nevertheless, until the day of my death, I will not cease teaching the brothers at least by example and good deeds to walk by the path which the Lord showed me, and which I have already taught and showed them by word and example. Thus, they will have no excuse before the Lord, and I will not be bound to render any further account about them or about myself before the Lord."




Speculum Perfectionis, Fontes Franciscani, p.

Francis of Assisi: Early Documents, vol. 3, p. 317