The Little Flowers of Saint Francis (after 1337) - 580 

him a second time: "O Brother Leo, even if a Lesser Brother gives sight to the blind, straightens the crippled, drives out the attacks of demons, restores hearing to the deaf and walking to the lame, speech to the mute and, what is even a greater thing, raises those dead for four days, write that perfect joy is not in that." And walking on a little, Saint Francis cried out loudly, "O Brother Leo, if a Lesser Brother knew all languages, 1 Cor 13:2 all the sciences and all the Scriptures, if he knew how to prophesy and reveal, not only future things, but also the secrets of consciences and people, write that perfect joy is not in that." Walking on a bit further Saint Francis cried out even louder, "O Brother Leo, little lamb of God, even though a Lesser Brother may speak with the tongue of an angel, 1 Cor 13:2 and know the courses of the stars and the powers of herbs, and all the treasures of the earth were revealed to him, and he knew the virtues of birds, fish and all animals and stones and waters, write that perfect joy is not in that." And walking along a bit, Saint Francis cried out loudly, "O Brother Leo, even if a Lesser Brother knew how to preach so well that he converts all the unbelievers to the faith of Christ, write that perfect joy is not in that."

This way of talking had lasted for a good two miles, when Brother Leo with great amazement asked him and said, "Father, I ask you, for the sake of God, to tell me where perfect joy is." And Saint Francis replied to him, "When we come to Saint Mary of the Angels, soaked with rain like this and frozen from the cold and covered with mud and suffering from hunger, and we knock at the door of the place, and the porter comes out angrily and says, 'Who are you?' and we say, 'We are two of your brothers,' and he says, 'You're not telling the truth: you two are scoundrels who go around tricking people and stealing the alms of the poor. Go away,' and he doesn't open for us, and makes us stay outside in the snow and water, cold and hungry until nighttime, then we patiently endure such insults and cruelty and abuses without becoming upset or complaining about him, and think humbly that that porter in fact recognizes us, that it is God who makes him speak against us: O Brother Leo, write that here is perfect joy. And if we even continue knocking and he comes out upset, and drives us away with curses and blows, like aggravating vagrants, saying 'Get out of here, you dirty little thieves, go to the hospital, because you're not going to eat here or stay here;' if we endure this patiently and with happiness and good love, O Brother Leo, write that here is perfect joy. And if, driven by hunger and cold and night, we knock even more and call out and beg for the love of God with loud crying that he open the door for us and let us at least come inside, and he becomes angrier and says, 'These are aggravating vagrants, I'll pay them well for what they're worth,' and comes

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Francis of Assisi: Early Documents, vol. 3, p. 580

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