The Remembrance of the Desire of a Soul (1245-1247) - 415 

The Remembrance of the Desire of a Soul 13

The following paragraph can be found in Book Oneof theRemembrance. It represents the initial intention of Thomas, i.e., to write down those yet unknown recollectionsof thesaint's first followers. This incident of Francis's embarrassment at begging before his fellow citizens of Assisi, which is not contained in the Life, prompts the mention of his prophetic vision of the role of San Damiano and " the holy virgins" who would live there. None of the eloquence found in Thomas's earlier work can be seen here; there is, instead, a rather plain, matter-of-fact presentation of Francis's realization of the importance of his task.

Chapter VIII

13Hestruggled to turn hisearlier, luxurious way of life in a different direction, and to lead his unruly body back to its natural goodness.a One day the man of God was going through Assisi begging oil to fill the lamps in the church of San Damiano, which he was then rebuilding. He saw a crowd carousing by the house he intended to enter. Turning bright red, he backed away. But then, turning his noblespirit toward heaven, he rebuked hiscowardice and called himself to account. He went back immediately to the house, and frankly explained to all of them what had made him ashamed. Then, as if drunk Jer 23:9 in the Spirit,b he spoke in French, and asked for oil, and he got it.c He fervently encouraged everyone to help repair that church, and in front of everyone Gn 23:10 he cried out in French that some day that place would bea monastery of Christ's holy virgins.d




Clare of Assisi: Early Documents, p. 415