The Kinship of Saint Francis - 726 

even worse, will hardly be able to wear the habit openly. Many of them will be punished and ruined by horrible torments of worldly people, because every house and floor place will shun such abominable feet. All this will happen to them because they withdrew from the golden head. But blessed will they be who in those dangerous days return to the admonitions of that precious head, because the Lord proved them as gold in a furnace and as rich holocausts will crown them and receive them forever.

"This sackcloth which seems to embarrass me, is holy poverty, the beauty and mirror of the whole Order, the unique safeguard, crown, and foundation of every kind of holiness. When all virtuous striving is gone, as mentioned above, degenerate sons will be embarrassed by most holy poverty; shedding their cheap garments, they will choose costly ones and procure vain capes through anxious care and simony. But happy and blessed will be those who will have persevered to the end in those things which they promised the Lord."

After these things were said, the statue disappeared. Saint Francis, thoroughly amazed by all this, like a good shepherd, with many tears entrusted his sheep, present and future, to God.

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Francis of Assisi: Early Documents, vol. 3, p. 726

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