The First Letter to Agnes of Prague - 45 

the banners of an undefiled virginity and a most holy poverty, be strengthened in the holy service of the Poor Crucified undertaken with a passionate desire,

14Who endured Heb 12:02 the suffering of the cross for us all,
delivering us from the power of the prince
of darkness Col 1:13
to which we had been enslaved by the disobedience of our first parent,
thus reconciling us 2 Cor 5:18 to God the Father.
15O blessed poverty,
who bestows eternal riches
on those who love and embrace her! 16O holy poverty,
God promises the kingdom of heaven
and, beyond any doubt, reveals eternal glory
and blessed life to those who have and desire her!
17O God-centered poverty,a
whom the Lord Jesus Christ
Who ruled and still rules heaven and earth,b
Who spoke and things were made, Ps 32:9 [Vulgate, Ps 31:9] Ps 148:5
came down to embrace before all else!

18He says: For the foxes have dens, and the birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man, Christ, has nowhere to lay His head, but bowing His head He gave up His spirit. Mt 8:20

19If so great and good a Lord, then, on coming into the Virgin’s womb, Jn 19:30 wanted to appear despised, needy, 2 Cor 8:9 and poor in this world, 20so that people who were very poor and needy, suffering exces- sive hunger of heavenly nourishment, may become rich in Him by possessing the kingdom of heaven, 21be very joyful and glad, filled with a remarkable happiness and a spiritual joy! 22Because, since contempt of the world has pleased You more than its




Epistola Ad Sanctam Agnetem De Praga I, Fontes Franciscani, p. 2263-2264

13virginitatis inviolabilis et paupertatis sanctissimae vexillo resplendentissime insignita, in sancto servitio confortamini, pauperis Crucifixi ardenti desiderio inchoato,

14qui pro nobis omnibus crucis sustinuit passionem,
eruens nos de potestate principis tenebrarum,
qua ob transgressionem primi parentis vincti vinculis, tenebamur,
et nos reconcilians Deo Patri.
15O beata paupertas,
quae diligentibus et amplexantibus eam
divitias praestat aeternas!
16O sancta paupertas,
quam habentibus et desiderantibus
a Deo caelorum regnum promittitur
et aeterna gloria vitaque beata
procul dubio exhibetur!
17O pia paupertas,
quam Dominus Iesus Christus,
qui caelum terramque regebat et regit,
qui dixit etiam et sunt facta,
dignatus est prae ceteris amplexari!

18Vulpes enim foveas, inquit, habent et volucres caeli nidos, Filius autem hominis, id est Christus, non habet ubi caput reclinet, sed inclinato capite tradidit spiritum.

19Si ergo tantus et talis Dominus in uterum veniens virginalem, despectus, egenus et pauper in mundo voluit apparere, 20ut homines, qui erant pauperrimi et egeni, caelestis pabuli sufferentes nimiam egestatem, efficerentur in illo divites regna caelestia possidendo, 21exsultate plurimum et gaudete, repletae ingenti gaudio et laetitia spiritali, 22quia, cum vobis magis placuisset contemptus saeculi quam honores, paupertas quam divitiae temporales et magis thesauros in caelo recondere quam in terra,

Clare of Assisi: Early Documents, p. 45