The Life of Saint Francis by Julian of Speyer - 379 

Chapter III

HOW, UNDERTAKING EVANGELICAL PERFECTION; HE CHANGED HIS HABIT A SECOND TIME, PREACHED AND BEGAN TO HAVE BROTHER COMPANIONS; AND HOW HE FOREKNEW HIS AND THEIR FUTURE, SENT THEM TWO-BY-TWO THROUGHOUT THE WORLD, AND ARRANGED THEIR COMING TOGETHER AGAIN.

15Blessed Francis had completed his work on the three churches, as has been said, and he had, up until that time, worn the habit of a hermit, carrying a staff in his hand, with shoes on his feet and a leather belt around his waist.

Now one day at Mass, he heard those things which Christ in the gospel spoke to his disciples who were sent out to preach: that they should not possess gold nor silver, nor carry a wallet along the way or a purse, or a walking stick or bread, nor have shoes or two tunics.a And later, from the priest, he understood these instructions more fully and was soon filled with indescribable joy. “This,” he said, “is what I seek, this is what I desire with all my heart.” And so, after committing to memory everything he had heard he joyfully applied himself to carrying out these commands and removed his extra clothing without delay. From this moment on he never used a walking stick, shoes, purse, or wallet. Accordingly, he made a very cheap and plain tunic, and throwing the belt away, tied the tunic with a cord.

16Applying all the care of his heart, to fulfill the words of the newnbgrace he had heard, he became, by divine inspiration, the proclaimer of evangelical perfection and began publicly to preach penance with simplicity. Moreover, his statements were neither hollow nor ridiculous, but filled with the power of the Holy Spirit. They penetrated the marrow of the heart and provoked stunned amazement in those who heard them. But, as he himself later testified, he also learned by the Lord’s revelation a greeting of this sort, that he should say: “May the Lord give you peace.” 2 Thes 3:16 Nm 6:26 Thus, in all his preaching, he greeted the people at the

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


Caput III

Qualiter evangelicam perfectionem aggrediens habitum secundo mutavit, praedicavit et socios fratres habere coepit; et quomodo sui et illorum exitum praecognovit, binos per mundum divisit et iterum congregare obtinuit.

15 1Beatus itaque Franciscus trium, ut dictum est, ecclesiarum opere consummato, habitum adhuc eremiticum tunc temporis habuit, baculumque manu gestans, pedibus calceatis et corrigia cinctus incessit.

2Audiens autem die quadam inter missarum solemnia ea quae Christus in Evangelio missis ad praedicandum discipulis loquitur, ne videlicet aurum vel argentum possideant, ne peram in via vel sacculum, ne virgam vel panem portent, ne calceamenta vel duas tunicas habeant; 3intelligensque haec eadem postmodum plenius ab ipso presbytero, indicibili gaudio mox repletus: « Hoc », inquit, « est quod quaero; hoc est quod totis praecordiis concupisco! ». 4Igitur cunctis, quae audierat, tenaci memoriae commendatis, laetanter his adimplendis innititur, duplicibusque sine mora depositis, ex hoc iam virga, calceamentis, sacculoque vel pera non utitur. 5Fecit proinde tunicam plurimum contemptibilem et incultam, reiectaque corrigia, funiculo cinxit illam.

16 1Omnem quoque sollicitudinem cordis apponens qualiter auditus novae gratiae verba perficeret, coepit instinctu divino evangelicae perfectionis annuntiator exsistere, coepit poenitentiae in publicum simpliciter verba proponere. 2Erant autem ipsius eloquia non inania nec risu digna, erant virtute sancti Spiritus plena, erant medullas cordis penetrantia et in vehementem audientes stuporem provocantia. 3Sed et sicuti postmodum ipse testatus est quod huiusmodi salutationem, Domino revelante, didicerat ut diceret: « Dominus det tibi pacem », sic in omni praedicatione sua, pacem annuntians, populum in sermonis exordio salutabat.

Francis of Assisi: Early Documents, vol. 1, p. 379

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