The Deeds of Blessed Francis & His Companions (1328-1337) - 449 

To the glory of God.
To the praise of our Lord Jesus Christ, Who is blessed forever.


1 On one day in winter Saint Francis was going from Perugia to Saint Mary of the Angels. Brother Leo was with him and they were suffering very acutely from the cold. Saint Francis called to Brother Leo who was walking a short distance in front of him. "Brother Leo," he said, "although in every area the Lesser Brothers give great example of sanctity, honesty, and edification, nevertheless write, that is, diligently note that perfect joy does not consist in this." Then after he walked a little farther, he called to him again: "O Brother Leo, even if a Lesser Brother should give sight to the blind, straighten crooked limbs, cast out demons, give hearing to the deaf, movement to the halt, speech to the dumb, and, what is more, life to one dead for four days, write that this is not perfect joy." And calling again he said: "O Brother Leo, if a Lesser Brother knew the languages of all peoples, all knowledge, and all Scriptures, so that he could prophesy 1 Cor 13:2 and reveal not only the future but also the consciences of others, write that this is not perfect joy." And while they were walking he called again: "O Brother Leo, little lamb of God, even if a Lesser Brother spoke with the tongue of an angel, 1 Cor 13:2 and knew the courses of the stars and the powers of herbs, and knew the locations of the earth's treasure, if he knew the worth and properties of bird and fish, of animals, men, roots, trees, stones, and waters, write down and diligently note that perfect joy is not there." And after a little while he cried out again: "O Brother Leo, even if a Lesser Brother knew how to preach so well that he could convert all infidels to the faith, write that this is not perfect joy."

2 This type of talking went on for about two miles. Brother Leo, however, was in admiration about all this and said: "Father, I ask you in God's name to tell me where will I find perfect joy?" Francis answered: "When we arrive at Saint Mary of the Angels so drenched by the rain and frozen by the cold, spattered with mud and suffering




Francis of Assisi: Early Documents, vol. 3, p. 449