The Life of Saint Francis by Julian of Speyer - 384 

to give his assent to the poor man, the meaning of this vision became evident.
The supreme pontiff gave the twelve brothers his kind consent concerning the confirmation of their rule and also gave them his mandate concerning the preaching of penance. With joy, he blessed and dismissed them, but he promised that later, when their number had increased, he would give them even more.a

22Therefore, it was not without reason that Blessed Francis thought it a wondrous thing that he had obtained such great benefits from the Vicar of Christ, and so he gave thanks to divine mercy for all. Completing his visit with a prayer at the tomb of the Prince of the Apostles, he joyfully left the city with his brothers.

The purpose of the gift moved him to act immediately, lest perhaps he remain ungrateful, and he dutifully began to make plans with the brothers: first, how by observing the rule they could make progress in virtue; and second, how by edifying their neighbors they might earn interest for the Lord on the silver piece Lk 19:13 entrusted to their care.

As they were dutifully discussing these and other similar things, it
happened that they came, late in the day, to a deserted place Mt 14:15 where they seemed to be bereft of all human aid, though they were in need of bodily refreshment because of the hardships of their journey. But divine providence, which was with these poor ones, provided bread through a man who came up unexpectedly and disappeared all of a sudden.b They ate the bread, marveled at the manner it had been provided, and, returning thanks to the Lord, continued their journey much comforted. Then they came to a solitary place near the city of Orte, where they remained for almost forty days in great lack of necessities. Some of their number went begging in that same city. There they renewed the beginnings of holy poverty with great joy and confirmed it with a perpetual covenant.c

23These zealots of a new justice next entered the Spoleto valley, and a pious discussion arose whether in the future they should live in solitary places or among people. But truly, the holy man of God, as if de-




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

10Quod utique rei exitus evidenter postmodum comprobavit, dum se ad condescendendum viro pauperi vir excellentissimus et magnanimus, dominus videlicet Innocentius papa tertius, qui tunc Ecclesiae praeerat, inclinavit.

11Dans igitur duodenario fratrum pium summus Pontifex de regula confirmanda consensum, dans et eisdem de poenitentia praedicanda mandatum, cum gaudio illos data benedictione dimisit; 12sed et eisdem adhuc ampliora multiplicatis in posterum compromisit.

22 1Beatus igitur Franciscus magnum non immerito reputans tanta se a Christi vicario beneficia consecutum, divinae super omnibus clementiae gratias egit; 2et visitatis principis Apostolorum liminibus et oratione completa, gaudenter cum suis ab Urbe recessit.

3Movebat eum protinus dati ratio, ne forsitan remaneret ingratus, piaque cum fratribus incepit tractare consilia, qualiter in observando regulam primum in semetipsis per virtutum incrementa proficerent, dehinc qualiter aedificando proximos in mna sibi credita Domino foenerarent.

4Haec et his similia pie conferentibus illis, accidit ut in quemdam locum desertum, iam hora diei progrediente, venirent, ubi humano destituti videbantur auxilio, cum refectione corporis prae labore itineris indigerent. 5Sed pauperibus suis providentia divina non defuit, quae mirabiliter illis panem per quemdam inopinate venientem et subito disparentem porrexit. 6Comedentes itaque pariter et mirantes, gratias Domino retulerunt; et non modicum confortati in coepto itinere processerunt. 7Venerunt ergo ad locum quemdam solitarium prope civitatem Ortensem, ubi quibusdam eorum in eadem civitate mendicantibus, in magna necessariorum penuria fere per dies quadraginta manserunt, 8ibique cum ingenti gaudio sanctae paupertatis initia renovantes, pacto illam perpetuo firmaverunt.

23 1Post haec vallem Spoletanam intrantes, pium novae iustitiae zelatores habuere tractatum, utrum in locis solitariis an potius inter homines foret illis morandum. 2At vero sanctus vir Dei, veluti de sua diffisus industria,

Francis of Assisi: Early Documents, vol. 1, p. 384