The Little Flowers of Saint Francis (after 1337) - 573 

return, the young man knocked again as he had the first time. And shortly Brother Masseo returned to the door and said to the young man: "You didn't observe my instructions about knocking." The young man answered: "Brother Elias doesn't want to come to me, so go tell Brother Francis that I've come to talk to him, but since I don't want to disturb his prayer, tell him to send Brother Elias to me." So Brother Masseo went to Saint Francis, who was praying in the woods, with his face lifted up to heaven, and told him the whole message of the young man and the response of Brother Elias. And that young man was the Angel of God in human form.

Then Saint Francis, without moving from the place or lowering his face, said to Brother Masseo: "Go tell Brother Elias by holy obedience to go to that young man." On hearing the obedience of Saint Francis, Brother Elias went to the door very upset and opened it with great force and noise and said to the young man: "What do you want?" The young man replied: "Be careful, Brother. Don't get upset, as you seem to be, because anger impedes the spirit and doesn't allow the truth to be discerned." Brother Elias replied: "Tell me what you want from me." The young man replied: "I ask you if it's lawful for those who observe the holy Gospel to eat what is set before them, as Christ told His disciples? And I also ask you if it's lawful for any man to put forward something contrary to evangelical freedom?" Brother Elias replied proudly: "I know this well, but I don't want to answer you. Go mind your own business." The young man replied: "I'd know how to answer this question better than you." Then Brother Elias, upset and furious, closed the door and went away. Then he began to think about that question and to have doubts within himself, and he could not resolve them. He was the Vicar of the Order and had ordered and made a constitution beyond the Gospel and beyond the Rule of Saint Francis, that no brother of the Order should eat meat. So that question was directed expressly against him. Not knowing how to express himself, and considering the modesty of the young man, and that he had said that he would have known how to answer that question better than he could, he went back to the door and opened it to ask the young man about that question. But he had already left, since the pride of Brother Elias was unworthy to speak with the Angel. At this Brother Francis, to whom God had revealed everything, came back from the woods, and rebuked Brother Elias severely in a loud voice: "Proud Brother Elias! You do wrong: you drive away from us the holy angels who come to teach us. I tell you, I fear your pride will make you end up outside this Order." And so it happened with him, as Saint Francis foretold, because he died outside the Order.




Francis of Assisi: Early Documents, vol. 3, p. 573