The Deeds of Blessed Francis & His Companions (1328-1337) - 440 

"Father, I am prepared to carry out your obedience as long as you also promise me obedience in what I will say." Saint Francis said: "I agree." Brother Bernard then said: "Tell me what you wish me to do, Father." Then Saint Francis said: "I order you under holy obedience to punish me for my boldness and audacity of heart. I will lie on the ground. You will then press the heel of one of your feet on my throat and the other on my mouth. With your feet thus placed on my throat and mouth, you will walk over me three times from one side to the other. And while you are walking over me, you will insult me, saying: 'Lie down, you peasant son of Pietro di Bernardone.'a You will inflict me with many other greater insults, such as: 'Where did you get such pride, you worthless creature?' "

16 Brother Bernard heard this, but found it hard to do. Nevertheless, because of obedience, he carried it out as courteously as he could. When he was finished, Saint Francis said to him: "Now, Brother Bernard, command me to do what you wish because I promised obedience to you." Brother Bernard said; "I command you under holy obedience that, whenever we are together, you correct me and rebuke me sharply for my failings." When Francis heard this, he was very surprised, because Brother Bernard was so holy that Saint Francis held him in great reverence. From that time on Saint Francis avoided staying with him for any length of time so that he might not happen to disturb such a holy and godly soul by some correction because of that obedience. But when he wanted to see Brother Bernard or hear him speak about God, he would quickly leave him after a short time. This was wonderful to see: how in the venerable father and in the first born son, Brother Bernard, the obedience and the love, the patience and the humility of both met each other and vied with each other in a real contest.

To the praise and glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.


1 In the beginning of the Order, when there were few brothers, and places had not yet been taken, Saint Francis went to visit Santiago, taking some companions with him, one of whom was




Francis of Assisi: Early Documents, vol. 3, p. 440