The Deeds of Blessed Francis & His Companions (1328-1337) - 442 

But go and send Brother Elias to me. I've heard that he is very wise,a and I want to ask him just one question."

13 But when Brother Masseo told Brother Elias to go to him, he got annoyed and, growing proud and angry, he refused to go. Brother Masseo did not know what to do, because if he said that he was not able to come, he would be lying; if he said that he was upset, he feared that would give bad example. In the meanwhile, since he was delayed coming back, the young man knocked again as he did before. Then the brother arrived at the door and said to the young man: "You did not observe my rule, my instruction about knocking." But that young man was an angel of God and anticipated Brother Masseo's answer. He said: "Brother Elias doesn't want to see me. Go to Brother Francis and tell him that I came to speak to him, but that I do not wish to disturb him. Tell him to send Brother Elias to me."

17 Then Brother Masseo went to Brother Francis, who was standing in the woods praying with his face raised to heaven, and told him about the youth's message and Brother Elias's response. Then Saint Francis said, without changing his position or lowering his gaze from heaven: "Go, and tell Brother Elias under obedience to go to him immediately." So Brother Elias went to the door so upset that he flung the door open with a loud crash and said to the young man: "What do you want?" That young man replied: "Careful, dear man, you seem to be upset and anger prevents the mind from seeing the truth." Then Brother Elias said: "Say what you want!" The young man replied: "I ask you, are those who observe the holy Gospel allowed to eat of everything that is set before Lk 10:8 them, as Christ taught? And is anyone allowed to impose on observers of the holy Gospel some things contrary to the freedom of the Gospel?" Brother Elias, out of pride, answered: "I know this well, but I won't tell you. Go away, mind your own business!" The young man responded: "I'd know how to answer that question better than you." Indignant, Brother Elias slammed the door shut and went away. But as he thought to himself about that question, he hesitated and did not know how to untangle it. When he was the vicar of the Order, he had presumed to legislate beyond the Gospel and the Rule, and had already crafted a regulation that no brother in the Order should eat meat. So, that question was aimed entirely at him. Since he did not know how to explain himself, and considering the young man's modesty, and that he had even said that he knew how to entangle




Francis of Assisi: Early Documents, vol. 3, p. 442