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 The Versified Life of Saint Francis  - 470 

55It was a most illustrious father then governed the wide world:
Innocent not only was he, but earned to be called
The Church's beneficial father.a Nothing was there so arduous
He did not tread under foot, nothing so bowed down
He did not lift up; the mere shadow of his name

60Struck terrorb in the kings of the earth, Ps 2:2 as he subjected
The world to the Church, taming with Peter's the sword of Caesar:c
For ever should his name be remembered.
Happy Francis would be to have the advice and favor
Of so great a father, and have him give lasting

65Authoritative weight to the statutes he had compiled.
So, he sets out for Rome to petition that father that the new
Order, under his examining, obtain the Apostolic See's favor.
As he takes to the road he brings some of his brothers
Along as companions. And as they arrive in the City,

70There already is a holy man, 2 Kgs 4:9 by the name of Guido,
Assisi's bishop, who asks them what was their urge
In visiting Rome.d And having heard them he is pleased
With their reasons. For he'd feared they were going elsewhere.
With that he gives them his counsel about their affairs.

75Then there was the father and priestly president of Sabina,
John of Saint Paul: great and good men in those days had the curia,
But none greater nor better than he. Kindly encouragement he gives
Them, open-armed welcome; he treats them with warm compassion
And graciously pays them respects.

80Yet he is afraid some human weakness may bring them down,
Perhaps may make their Order's newness and fervor die
And vanish into thin air.e He strives to dissuade them
From wandering about in this corrupting world of ours,f
Instead of entering the shelter of monastery or hermitage.

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Legenda Sancti Francisci Versificata, Fontes Franciscani, p.


Curaque gubernaret pater illustrissimus orbem,
Qui privative nocuus, proprieque vocari
Utilis Ecclesiae meruit pater, ardua calcans,
Pressa levans, reges terrae qui nominis umbra

55Terruit, Ecclesiae mundum subiecit, et ensem
Caesaris ense Petri domuit, memorandus in aevum;
Tanti Francisco placuit patris,auspice ductu
Consilioque super dictis procedere rebus;
Quoque statutorum gravitas authentica summam

60Perpetuet, Romara proficiscitur, a memorato
Patre petiturus, ut discutiendus ab ipso
Sedis apostolicae novus impetret Ordo favorem.
Aggrediensque viam, quosdam de fratribus ipsis
Assumit comites. Quibus ingredientibus Urbem,

65Exsistens vir sanctus ibi, Guido nomine, praesul
Assisii, quaerit quae Romam causa videndi
Ipsos impulerit, perpensaque complacet illi
Causa: timebat enim ne se transferre pararent;
Consiliumque suum rebus concedit agendis.

70Deinde Sabinensis pater, antistesque Iohannes
De Sancto Paulo, quo nullum curia de tot
Magnis totque bonis maiorem vel meliorem
Tunc habuit, clementer eos confortat, honeste
Suscipit, humane tractat, gratanter honorat.

75Sed metuens ne forte cadant humanitus, ex quo
Ordinis exciderit novitas et fervor in auras
Exspirans evanuerit, suadere laborat
Ut non circumeant nostri contagia saecli,
Immo monasterii latebras eremive subintrent.

Francis of Assisi: Early Documents, vol. 1, p. 470

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