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 The Deeds of Blessed Francis & His Companions (1328-1337) - 477 

and body on the Good Shepherd, the Nourisher of souls and bodies, our blessed Lord Jesus Christ. "And to observe this better, I command all of you brothers assembled here by virtue of saving obedience, not one of you is to have any care or concern about anything to eat or drink or for the body, but to be intent only on prayer and the praise of God, casting all care Ps 55:23 [Vulgate, Ps 54:23] on Christ, since he has a special care for you." They all did this, hurrying lightheartedly to prayer.

16 Saint Dominic, who was present for all this, wondered about the command which Saint Francis had given, and considered him as acting without discernment since he had commanded that no one in such a great multitude should be concerned about things necessary for the body. He figured that in such a great multitude difficulties would have to arise.

17 But the Lord Jesus wished to show that he would take special care of such dear sheep, his poor. With sudden inspiration the hand of the Lord came over the people of Perugia, Spoleto, Foligno, Spello, Assisi and all the surrounding towns. They came with donkeys, mules and horses and carts loaded with bread and wine, beans and cheese, and all the good things which they thought those blessed poor men needed. They also brought tablecloths, platters and dishes, and whatever utensils were needed. Those who could serve them more devoutly and more attentively considered themselves blessed, eagerly providing all the necessities of that blessed multitude. You could see knights and nobles devoutly serving that gathering of holy men. You could see there devout clerics and laymen hurrying back and forth like servants. You could see there lively young men, serving with such reverence that they seemed to be serving not poor brothers but apostles of the Lord Jesus Christ.

22 When Saint Dominic saw all this and realized that divine providence was truly there, he humbly censured himself for his judgment of lack of discernment. Kneeling before Blessed Francis, he humbly confessed his fault, and said: "God is truly taking care of these poor little holy men and I did not know it. Therefore, from now on I promise to observe holy evangelical poverty, and on behalf of God I curse all the brothers of my Order who presume to keep anything of their own in the Order."

24 Saint Dominic then left greatly edified by the faith of Saint Francis and by the obedience and poverty of such a large and orderly assembly, by the divine providence and by the abundant supply of everything. For as a truly holy and wise man, he recognized in all his

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Francis of Assisi: Early Documents, vol. 3, p. 477

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