Papal Documents - 566 

it, rooting out briars and thorns with hoe and plowshare, with which Shamgar slew six hundred Philistines. Jgs 3:31 a These workers have cut back the overgrown branches and pulled up the brambles and shallow-rooted offshoots so that the vines might produce sweet, delicious fruit. Such fruit, when purified in the winepress of endurance, can be stored in the cellar of eternity. For the vineyard has been laid waste by ungodliness as if by fire, and the charity of many has gone cold; they are destined to be destroyed in the same catastrophe as that which befell the Philistines, who were overcome by the poison of their earthly sensual pleasures.b

2 But just as when the Lord destroyed the earth with the waters of the flood, he saved the righteous man by a paltry piece of wood, Wis 10:4 so even now he has not allowed the scepter of wickedness . . . (to) rest on the land allotted to the righteous. Ps 125:3 [Vulgate, Ps 124:3] For behold, at the eleventh hour, he raised up his servant Francis, a man trulyafter his own heart. 1 Sm 13:14 He was a beacon whom the rich viewed with contempt, but whom God had prepared for the appointed time, sending him into his vineyard to root out the thorns and brambles after having put the attacking Philistines to flight, to light up the path to our homeland, and to reconcile people to God by his zealous preaching.

3 For when Francis heard the voice of his beloved calling within him, he rose up without delay. Like another Samson,c with God’s help he broke the bonds that tied him to the seductive world. Filled with the zeal of the Holy Spirit, he took up the jawbone of an ass, preaching in simple words, not with the plausible words of human wisdom, but with the mighty strength of God, who chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong.With this weapon, through the grace of the one who touches the mountains and makes them smoke, he slew, not justa thousand, but many thousands of Philistines, bringing back to spiritual ser




Mira circa nos, Bullarium Franciscanum, p. BFr 1, p. 42-44

in illam, qui salubriter ipsam excolant, evellentes sarculo, ac vomere, quo Samgar sexcentos Philisthaeos percussit, spinas, & tribulos ex eadem, Operarios etiam in undecima hora transmittit, ut superfluitate palmitum resecata, & vitulaminibus spuriis radices altas non dantibus, nec non sentibus extirpatis, fructum suavem afferat, & jucundum; qui praelo patientiae defaecatus in aeternitatis cellarium transferatur: impietate profectò velut igne succensa, & frigescente charitate multorum in ejusdem maceriam diruendam, irruentibus Philisthaeis potione terrenae cadentibus voluptatis.

1 Ecce in hora undecima Dominus, qui cum Diluvii aqua Terram deleret, Justum per lignum contemptibilem gubernavit; super fortem Justorum virgam peccantium non relinquens, excitavit servum suum Beatum Franciscum virum utique secundum cor suum, apud cogitationes divitum lampadem quidem contemptam, sed paratam ad tempus statutum illam in vineam suam mittens, ut ex ipsa spinas, & vepres evelleret, prostratis illam impugnantibus Philisthaeis illuminando Patriam, & reconciliaret Deo exhortatione sedula commonendo.

2 Qui audita interius voce invitantis amici, impiger surgens Mundi vincula blandientis quasi alter Sampson gratia divina praeventus dirupit & Spiritu fervoris concepto, asinique arrepta mandibula, praedictione siquidem simplici, nullis verborum persuasibilium humanae sapientiae coloribus adornata, sed tamen Dei virtute potenti, qui infirma Mundi eligit, ut fortia quaecumque confundat, non tantum mille; sed multa Philistinorum eo, qui tangit montes, & fumigant, favente prostravit; & in Spiritus servitutem redegit carnis illecebris antea servientes.

Francis of Assisi: Early Documents, vol. 1, p. 566