The Kinship of Saint Francis - 715 

memory, formerly the Provincial Minister of the Province of Aquitaine and a Master of Theology.


29 There were two of our brothers who wanted to leave a place and, because of greater perfection, took nothing with them, not even bread or anything to eat. Walking for the greater part of a day, they were not able to find any bread. Hungry and almost fainting from weakness, they asked bread for the love of God from a priest they had found in some church. Since he had none, they left him, not knowing what to do. As they went, they met a young man who said to them: "Why are you standing still and why don't you have anything? Is it because you set out so sluggishly and almost tired?" They answered: "We looked for bread but could not find any, so we are almost fainting from hunger." The youth said to them: "Sit down. Look here are the two pieces of bread I have. Eat them!" Taking them with great joy, he ate whatever was his. For that bread was tempting and mouth-watering, because it had a very delicious aroma. After he had eaten, the young man said to them: "Swallow your pride. Why are you afraid? Why don't you cast all your care on the Lord? Doesn't it say in the Gospel: 'Take nothing with you for the journey'? But you, straying from your father blessed Francis, have deleted that passage from the Rule. And therefore, because you do not hope in God, Who never abandons any poor animal, you do not find whatever you need to satisfy yourselves in time of need. But your Order has been split in three. For there are some who, once the soul is separated from the body, fly through Purgatory to heaven, brothers who are purified here through trials, and perfectly observe the Rule. There are others who observe it half-heartedly, and, in this world, blessed Francis serves them in the same way by not taking care of them. There are others whom he does not admit in any way." Hearing this, the brothers then spoke openly to one another: "Perhaps this young man is an angel!" And while they were saying this, he immediately disappeared.

30 He burned with great zeal for the common profession of our Rule, which is nothing else than the perfect observance of the Gospel. He endowed those who are and were true zealots about it with a special blessing. He used to tell his imitators that our profession was the Book of Life, the hope of salvation, the pledge of glory, the marrow of the Gospel, the way of the cross, the state of perfection, the key of Paradise, the pact of an eternal covenant. He wanted all to have




Francis of Assisi: Early Documents, vol. 3, p. 715