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 The Life of Saint Francis by Julian of Speyer - 375 

he returned, in great freedom of spirit, to the place where he had earlier stayed.

When his father returned home and learned what had been done, he angrily assailed his wife with insults, not stopping until, in a frenzy, he ran after his son. He was determined that if he could not turn him away from his purpose, he would at least drive him out of town. His son freely and fearlessly met his father and did not yield to his fury as he had done before; but he shouted that he was willing gladly to endure even more for the sake of Christ.

His father saw that he was inflexible in his constancy, and at last turned to demanding the money. When he found and recovered it where the holy man had thrown it, he began to soften toward his son. The thirst of his avarice was temporarily quenched, and this cooled his anger.

9Then he led him to the bishop of the place so that before him, he might return all he had and surrender all his wealth into his hands. But before he was even asked, Francis cheerfully showed himself ready, and taking off all his clothes, including his undergarments, he returned them to his father. Thus he stood completely naked in front of everyone, and presented himself as an exile in the world.

The bishop, truly admiring the man’s great fervor, knew that this could only have been done by divine inspiration, and from then on he was prepared to help him with fatherly love. He took him in his arms, and covered him with the mantle he was wearing. Thus the naked man of God had conformed himself to the naked one on the cross, and had perfectly fulfilled the counsel of renouncing all his possessions.a He was now separated from the contemplation of God by no earthly thing except the barrier of the flesh.

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Iuliani de Spira Officium Sancti Francisci, Fontes Franciscani, p.


in magna animi libertate ad locum, in quo prius steterat, est reversus.

7Quod factum ut domum rediens pater agnovit, iratus uxorem contumeliis lacessivit; nec adhuc cessans, animo post filium effrenato cucurrit. 8Nitebatur enim ut eum saltem ab illius terrae confinio penitus elongaret, si illum a suo proposito flectere non valeret. 9Cuius adventui se filius liber et intrepidus offerens, iam patris furiae non cedebat, ut antea fecerat; sed adhuc maiora pati pro Christo gratanter se velle elamabat.

10Videns igitur pater inflexibilem eius constantiam, demum ad pecuniam convertitur extorquendam; 11qua ubi vir sanctus illam proiecerat inventa pariter et sublata, iam erga filium mitius agere coepit, quia avaritiae sitis paulisper exstincta furorem simul animi temperavit.

9 1Post haec illum ad episcopum loci perduxit, ut ei cuncta coram illo quae habuit redderet, omnesque facultates suas in ipsius manibus resignaret. 2At ille promptus et hilaris ad hoc ipsum, prius etiam quam postularetur, se offerens, omnia quae habuit indumenta, nec femoralibus quidem retentis, deponens, ea patri restituit; 3sicque omnino midus coram omnibus remanens, in mundo se exsulem designavit.

4Episcopus vero, tantum viri fervorem admirans, nequaquam haec sine nutu divino fieri posse cognovit; 5et ex tunc illi paternae caritatis affectu paratus assistere, inter brachia sua collectum pallio quo induebatur obtexit. 6Iam se vir Dei nudus in.cruee nudato conformat, iam perfecte consilium de omnibus renuntiandis impleverat, quem a divino contuitu iam nil terrenum, nisi solus carnis paries, separabat.

Francis of Assisi: Early Documents, vol. 1, p. 375

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