The Life of Saint Francis by Thomas of Celano - 247 

devoutly, just as he always did for those professing holy religion, especially those carrying the noble banner of blessed poverty and holy simplicity. Now the bishop was concerned to provide for the needs 2 Cor 8:14 of the poor and to handle their affairs in a special way. So he carefully inquired the reason for the blessed man's arrival there and graciously understood his plan. He perceived in the holy man someone who, more than others, spurned all earthly things, one who was burning with the fire which Jesus sent down to the earth. From that moment, his soul was joined to the soul 1 Sm 18:1 of the holy man.a Sincerely asking for his prayers, the bishop freely offered the holy man his protection in all things. Then, the lord bishop advised him not to complete the journey he had begun, but rather to be vigilant, to care for and protect those whom the Lord God had entrusted to him.

When the holy man Francis saw that this revered lord had such a devout attitude, sweet affection, and powerful words, he rejoiced greatly. Mt 2:11 Falling at his feet, Acts 10:25 he handed over and entrusted himself and his brothers wholeheartedly to the bishop.

Chapter XXVIII

76 The father of the poor, Jb 29:16
the poor Francis,
conforming himself to the poor in all things,
was distressed to see anyone poorer than himself,
not out of any desire for empty glory, Gal 5:26
but from a feeling of simple compassion.
Though he was content with a ragged and rough tunic,
he often wished to divide it with some poor person.

This richest poor man, moved by a great feeling of pity, in order to help the poor in some way, used to approach the rich people of this world during the coldest times of the year, asking them to loan him




Vita Prima, Fontes Franciscani, p. 350-351

humili devotione suscepit, sicut et semper omnibus sacram religionem praetendentibus faciebat, et illis praecipue, qui beatae paupertatis et sanctae simplicitatis insigne nobile deferebant. 3Et quoniam sollicitus erat pauperum supplere inopiam et ipsorum negotia specialiter pertractare, causam adventus ipsius diligenter quaesivit, et eius propositum benignissime intellexit.4Quem cum cerneret supra caeteros terrena omnia contemnentem et illo igne ferventem, quem Iesus misit in terram, anima sua ex tunc animae illius conglutinata est, devote ipsius petens orationem et gratissime suam ei offerens in omnibus protectionem.5Monuit proinde ipsum coeptum non perficere iter, sed ad curam et custodiam eorum quos Dominus Deus sibi commiserat, sollicite vigilare.

6Videns autem sanctus Franciscus tam reverendum dominum sic pium gerere animum, affectum dulcem, sermonem efficacem, gavisus est gaudio magno valde v , et exinde procidens ad pedes eius, se ipsum et fratres suos devoto ei animo tradidit et commisit.

Caput XXVIII — De spiritu charitatis et affectu compassionis quo
fervebat erga pauperes, et quid de ove et agniculis fecerit.

761Pater pauperum
pauper Franciscus,
pauperibus omnibus se conformans,
pauperiorem se quempiam conspicere gravabatur,
non inanis gloriae appetitu,
sed solius compassionis affectu.
2Et licet tunica vili satis et hispida foret contentus,
illam multoties cum aliquo paupere dividere cupiebat.

3Sed ut ditissimus pauper, magno pietatis affectu ductus, posset utcumque pauperibus subvenire, postulabat in magnis frigoribus a divitibus huius saeculi mantellum seu pelles praestari sibi.

Francis of Assisi: Early Documents, vol. 1, p. 247