The Deeds of Blessed Francis & His Companions (1328-1337) - 453 

7 When Saint Francis entered the town, he climbed a wall in order to be more easily heard by the throng and he preached there to the multitude. In the local idiom this is the theme he set forth:

Tanto è il bene ch'io aspetto,
ch'ogni pena m'è diletto.

The sense of this is: Such is the good which I await, that every pain delights me. On these words the Holy Spirit poured forth divine declarations through the mouth of Saint Francis by referring to the pains of the martyrs, the martyrdoms of the apostles, the severe penances of the confessors, and the many tribulations of holy men and women. He did this so devoutly that the people stood there in rapt attention as if listening to an angel. Among these people was Orlando who rejoiced in the desired presence of Saint Francis and was inwardly touched by his wonderful sermon. He proposed for the salvation of his soul to discuss a transaction with our holy Father.

11 Therefore, when the preaching was finished, he said to Saint Francis: "Father, I would like to speak to you about the salvation of my soul." However, Saint Francis, totally grounded with the salt of discernment, said to him: "My lord, go this morning and honor your friends since they invited you to the celebration, and after your meal we will talk as much as you wish," Orlando agreed to this and after his dinner he fully set forth before Saint Francis the matter of the salvation of his soul. At the end he said: "Brother Francis, I have a very abandoned and solitary mountain in Tuscany which is called Mount La Verna. It is very suitable for those who wish to live a solitary life. If this mountain pleases you and your companions, I would very willingly give it to you for the salvation of my soul."a

15 Saint Francis was thoroughly inclined and desirous of finding a solitary place where he could more completely give himself to divine contemplation, so that when he heard this offer, he first gave praise to God who through his faithful people provides for his little sheep, and then he gave thanks to Lord Orlando, and said: "My lord, when you return to your region, I will send you two of my companions. You show them this mountain and, if it seems suitable, I most willingly accept your charitable offer." Orlando lived in a castle near Mount La Verna.

17 After the celebration was finished and Orlando returned to his home, Saint Francis sent him two of his associates who looked for him, but because that area was unknown to them it was with great




Francis of Assisi: Early Documents, vol. 3, p. 453