Sacred Exchange between St. Francis & Lady Poverty - 551 

The Consent of Poverty

58These words deeply moved 1 Kgs 3:26 Gn 42:30 Lady Poverty. Always accustomed to be merciful and forgiving, she ran, incapable of containing herself any more, and embraced them. She placed a kiss of peace on each one. "Look, I am coming to you, my brothers and sons," she shouted. "I know many will acquire me as profit because of you."

Blessed Francis, unable to contain himself out of joy, with a loud voice began to praise the All-powerful Who did not abandon those who hope in him. Jdt 13:17 "Bless the Lord," he said, "all you his chosen ones. Keep days of joy and confess to him because He is good, because His mercy is forever!"

As they came down from the mountain, they led Lady Poverty to the
place where they were staying, for it was nearly the sixth hour. Jn 4:6

The Banquet of Poverty with the Brothers

59After they had prepared everything, they persuaded her to eat with them. But she said: "First show me your oratory, chapter room, enclosure, refectory, kitchen, dormitory and stable; your beautiful chairs, polished tables and large houses. I do not see any of these. I only notice that you are cheerful and happy, overflowing with joy, filled with consolation, as if you expect that everything will be given you at your request."

They answered: "Our Lady and Queen, we, your servants, are tired from the long journey and you, coming with us, have expended no little effort. Let us first eat. Once we are strengthened, if you direct, we will do everything as you wish."

60"I am pleased at what you say," she said. "But bring some water that we might wash our hands and some towels to dry them." They brought her immediately a cracked earthen bowl—because there was not a whole one—filled with water. Pouring the water over her hands they looked here and there for a towel. When they couldn't find one, one of them offered her the tunic he was wearing that she could dry her hands with it. Accepting it with thanks, she then gave in her heart glory to God Who had brought her into association with such men.

61Then they led her to where they had prepared the table. When they had led her there, she saw that there was nothing more than three or four crusts of barley or bran bread set upon the grass. She was greatly astonished




Sacrum commercium sancti Francisci cum domina Paupertate, Fontes Franciscani, p.

Capitulum 29 Consensus Paupertatis.

1Commota sunt ad hec viscera domine Paupertatis et, sicut ei proprium est misereri semper et parcere, ultra. se continere non valens, cucurrit et amplexata est eos ac pacis osculum unicuique prebens, dixit: 2"Ecce, iam venio, fratres et filii mei, vobiscum, sciens me de vobis lucraturam quamplures."

3Beatus Franciscus, non se capiens pre letitia, cepit laudare alta voce Omnipotentem, qui non derelinquit sperantes in se, dicens: 4"Benedicite Dominum, omnes electi eius, agite dies letitie et confitemini ei, quoniam bonus, quoniam in seculum misericordia eius."

5Et descendentes de monte duxerunt dominam Paupertatem ad locum in quo manebant; hora enim erat quasi sexta.

Capitulum 30 De convivio Paupertatis cum fratribus.

1Et, preparatis omnibus, coegerunt illam comedere secum. 2At illa: "Ostendite mihi inquit primo oratorium, capitulum, claustrum, refectorium, coquinam, dormitorium et stabulum, pulcra sedilia, expolitas mensas et domos immensas . 3Nihil enim video horum, nisi quod cerno vos hilares et iucundos, superabundantes gaudio, repletos consolatione, ac si omnia expectetis ad votum suppeti vobis."

4Ipsi quoque respondentes dixerunt: "Domina et regina nostra, nos servi tui ex longo itinere fatigati sumus, et tu, nobiscum veniens, non modicum laborasti. 5Comedamus ergo prius, si iubes, et sic confortati ad nutum tuum omnia implebuntur."

6"Placet quod dicitis" ait; "sed iam afferte aquam, ut manus nostras lavemus, et sindones, quibus tergamus eas." 7Illi vero citissime obtulerunt medium quoddam terreum vasculum, quia perfectum non erat ibi, plenum aqua. 8Et vergentes in manibus eius respiciebant huc atque illuc pro sindone. 9Cumque non invenissent eam, unus obtulit ei tunicam qua indutus erat ut cum ea tergeret manus. 10Ipsa vero, cum gratiarum actione illam suscipiens, magnificabat Deum in corde suo, qui talibus eam associavit hominibus.

11Deinde duxerunt eam ad locum in quo mensa parata erat. Que, cum fuisset perducta, respexit et nil aliud videns quam tria vel quatuor frusta panis hordeacei aut suricei posita super gramina, vehementer admirata est dicens intra se:

Francis of Assisi: Early Documents, vol. 1, p. 551