The Deeds of Blessed Francis & His Companions (1328-1337) - 450 

from hunger, and we knock on the door of the place and the porter comes and angrily says: 'Who are you?' And we say: 'We are two of your brothers'; and he says in return: 'You are, in fact, coarse fellows who go about the world stealing alms from the poor, and he will not let us enter but keeps us standing in snow and water, in cold and hunger until it is night, and then if we patiently endure such insults and rebuffs without being disturbed or murmuring, and humbly and charitably feel that even this porter knows us for what we are and that God loosened his tongue against us, O Brother Leo, write that this is perfect joy. And if we persevere in knocking, and the porter, disturbed at our importunity, comes out and attacks us with very hard blows and says: 'Leave here, you worthless idlers, and go to an inn! Who do you think you are? You certainly are not going to eat here!' And if we bear these things patiently and with love accept the insults wholeheartedly, O Brother Leo, write that this is perfect joy. And if thoroughly suffering from great hunger and painful cold as night comes on we continue to knock and call out and tearfully cry out for admittance, and the aroused porter says: 'These men are very impudent and bold, and I will quiet them!' Then coming out with a knotty club and grabbing us by the capuche, he throws us to the ground in mud and snow, and so beats us with the club that we are filled with wounds on all sides. And if we endure so many evils, so many insults and blows with joy, thinking that we ought to bear and endure most patiently these pains of the blessed Christ, O Brother Leo, among all the gifts of the Holy Spirit, which Christ gives to his friends is to conquer oneself and willingly endure abuse for Christ and for the love of God. For in all the wonderful things mentioned above we cannot glory, because they are not ours but God's: Name something you have that you have not received. If, then, you have received it, why are you boasting as if it were your own? Gal 6:14 But we can boast in the cross of tribulation and affliction, because that is our own. Therefore, the Apostle says: 'May I never boast of anything but the Cross of our Lord,' Gal 6:14 to whom be praise forever.

Amen."

VIII
GOD SPEAKS TO SAINT FRANCIS THROUGH BROTHER LEOa

1 In the beginning of the Order our holy Father Francis was staying in a little place with Brother Leo and they did not have the books to recite the Office. One night when they arose for matins,

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Francis of Assisi: Early Documents, vol. 3, p. 450

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