The Life of Saint Francis by Julian of Speyer - 376 

Chapter II

THE THINGS HE SUFFERED WHEN HE WAS FIRST FREED FROM THE HANDS OF HIS FATHER, AND WHAT HE DID WHILE IN SECULAR GARB, AND ON HIS FIRST CHANGE OF HABIT.

10After Francis had escaped the inhuman persecution of his father, it happened that one day this zealot of the new law was walking along half-naked in a forest, singing the praises of the Lord in French, when he suddenly fell among robbers. Lk 10:30 When they asked him gruffly who in the world he was, he responded prophetically without fear: “I am the herald of the great King! Ps 48:3 [Vulgate, Ps 47:3] What is that to you?”a But they indignantly whipped the servant of God, threw him into a snow-filled ditch, and insulted the future shepherd of the Lord’s flock saying, “Lie there, stupid herald of God!”b When the brigands departed, he jumped out of the ditch joyfully, and more energetically sang praises to the Creator of all.

11When he finally arrived at a monastery, this fellow who had been used to wearing expensive clothing was wearing only a ragged shirt. Not surprisingly, since he was neither regarded nor even known there, and in want of food, he was rudely sent to the kitchen. After several days, when no one mercifully took note of his nakedness, he was obliged by necessity alone to leave. Later, however, when the report of his sanctity spread abroad everywhere, the prior of the place came to him, deeply sorry for the neglect of such a great man and humbly asked him to forgive him and his monks.

After he left that monastery, the little poor man of Jesus Christc came to the city named Gubbio where he sought out an old friend who, for the sake of friendship, covered his nakedness with a short tunic.

12After this, humbly holding himself in low esteem and now not

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


Caput II

De iis quae de manibus patris ereptus primum passus est, et quae fecit in habitu saeculari, et de prima habitus sui mutatione.

10 1Postquam ergo beatus Franciscus immanitatem paternae persecutionis evaserat, accidit die quadam ut ipse novae legis zelator in quodam nemore seminudus incederet, et sic Domino laudes in gallica lingua decantans, subito in latrones incideret. 2Quibus ferali modo quisnam esset quaerentibus, nil trepidans prophetice sic respondit: « Praeco sum magni Regis! Quid ad vos ?». 3At illi indignantes servum Dei in foveam nivibus plenam post verbera proiecerunt, et futuro dominici gregis pastori taliter insultando dixerunt: « Iace, rustice praeco Dei! ». 4Ipse vero, recedentibus illis nefariis, de fovea laetus exsiliit, et omnium Creatori laudes alacriore voce personuit.

11 1Tandem qui pretiosis uti consueverat indumentis, in sola vili camisia venit ad quoddam coenobium monachorum, ubi nimirum nec agnitus nec reputatus, cum victus penuria viliter in coquina permissus est; 2donec, viso quod nuditatem, eius miserationis oculis nemo respiceret, post plures dies sola necessitate compulsus abiret. 3Postea tamen, cum sanctitatis eius circumquaque fama crebresceret, prior loci, graviter ob curam tanti viri neglectam compunctus, usque ad illum dolens pervenit et humiliter ab eo pro se suisque veniam postulavit.

4Progressus igitur a monasterio supradicto pauperculus Iesu Christi, veniensque in civitatem cui nomen Eugubium, illic quemdam suum, quem noverat, amicum pristinum requisivit, qui ob veterem amicitiam tunicula nuditatem illius obtexit.

12 1Post haec humilis sui contemptor, et iam se ab hominibus contemni contemnens,

Francis of Assisi: Early Documents, vol. 1, p. 376

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