The Legend for Use in the Choir - 319 

The Legend for Use in the Choir
by Thomas of Celano

1You asked me, Brother Benedict, to make excerpts from the Legend of our most blessed father Francis and put them into the order required for the series of nine readings, so that they could be put into breviaries where all could have them at hand because of their brevity. I have done what I could and since you are a man of desires Dn 9:23 I have dutifully, although unworthily, tried to please you. I ask, as the price for this short bit of work, the lasting fruit of your holy prayer.


2Blessed Francis, born in the city of Assisi, was raised from his earliest youth to be arrogant. He became a man of business and used up his time with vain living until he was twenty-five years of age. But while he was involved in the goings-on of this world with no concern for the exercise of virtue, the Lord struck him with the whip of illness. And so, at the change of the right hand of the most High, Ps 77:11 [Vulgate, Ps 76:11] Francis was suddenly changed into a different man and gave himself over, with full deliberation, to becoming a merchant for the kingdom of heaven by rejecting all the riches of this world. He sold all that he had Mt 19:21 and offered the money gained thereby to a certain poor priest. But the priest refused to take the money because of his fear of Francis’s parents; at this, Francis immediately threw the money down at the priest’s feet since he considered it to be so much dirt. Then he was bound by his earthly father, enclosed in their house, beaten by him, and put into chains; but for the name of the Savior he utterly looked down upon the health of his body.




Legenda ad usum chori, Fontes Franciscani, p.

Legenda ad usum chori

1 1Rogasti me, frater Benedicte, ut de Legenda beatissimi patris nostri Francisci quaedam exciperem et ea in novem lectionum seriem ordinarem, quatenus in breviariis deberent haec poni, cum ob suam brevitatem ab omnibus possent haberi. 2Feci quod potui, et quia vir desideriorum es, devote, licet minus digne, tuo beneplacito satisfeci. 3Peto mercedem huius brevis laboris, manentem fructum sanctae orationis.

2 1Beatus Franciscus de civitate Assisii ortus, a puerilibus annis nutritus exstitit insolenter. 2Qui negotiator effectus, fere usque ad vicesimum quintum aetatis suae annum, tempus suum vane vivendo consumpsit. 3Dum enim mundi huius implicamentis evolvi nullius virtutis expeditione curaret, infirmitatis eum Dominus flagello corripuit, sicque mutatione dexterae Excelsi subito in virum alterum conversus est, et ad mercandum regnum caelorum, spretis mundi huius divitiis, tota deliberatione se dedit. 4Vendidit cuncta, quae habuit, lucratam pecuniam cuidam presbytero pauperi obtulit, quam, timore parentum illo recipere formidante, coram ipso incunctanter proiciens, tamquam pulverem vilipendit. 5Ligatur proinde a carnali patre, includitur, caeditur, vinculatur, sed salutem corporis pro nomine Salvatoris contemnit.

Francis of Assisi: Early Documents, vol. 1, p. 319