A Mirror of the Perfection (The Sabatier Edition, 1928) - 326 

knows how overpowering those temptations can be which can push someone to such a fall. Were God to permit him to be tested the same way, perhaps he would fall into an even deeper pit.

"I want all to honor him with devotion and reverence as the vicar of Christ, and to be provided for in everything with all kindness according to his needs by everyone as fitting for our state of life. However, he must not enjoy honors, nor delight in approval more than insults, so that honors do not change his conduct except for the better. If he should need more substantial and better food, he should not eat it in secret but in a public place, so that others may be freed from embarrassment at having to provide for themselves in their sickness and infirmity.

"It especially pertains to him to discern what is hidden in consciences and to draw out the truth from its hidden veins. Let him initially consider all accusations as suspect, until, after diligent inquiry, the truth begins to appear. Let him not listen to gossip and consider the accusations of garrulous people especially suspect, and let him not believe them too easily. In order to maintain his honor, let him be a person who in no way betrays or relaxes the virile form of justice and equity. Let him take care never to destroy a soul by excessive severity, so that torpor not be aroused by undue lenience, and dissolution of discipline be undermined by lax indulgence. In this way he will be feared by all and loved by those who fear him. Let him always consider and feel the office of prelacy as a burden to him rather than as an honor.

"I would like him to have companions endowed with honesty,

firmly opposed to sinful pleasures, resolute in difficulties, kind and compassionate to offenders, having the same affection for all. Let him not receive any remuneration for his work, except for his bodily needs. Let him seek nothing but the glory of God, the good of the Order, merit for his own soul, and for the salvation of all the brothers. Let him be friendly toward all and receive everyone who comes to him with holy cheerfulness, demonstrating in themselves purely and simply the form and example of the observance of the Gospel according to the profession of the Rule.

"There," he concluded, "the general minister of this religion should be like this and such is the kind of companions he should have."




Speculum Perfectionis, Fontes Franciscani, p.

Francis of Assisi: Early Documents, vol. 3, p. 326