The Anonymous of Perugia - 34 

The Beginning or Founding of the Order
and the Deeds of Those Lesser Brothers Who Were
the First Companions of Blessed Francis in Religion


2Servants of the Lord should not be ignorant of the lives and teachings of saints through which they can come to God. Therefore, for the honor of God and the edification of readers and listeners, I, who saw their deeds, listened to their words, and also became their disciple, have compiled and recounted, as the Lord inspired me, some deeds of our most blessed Father Francis and of a few of the brothers who lived at the beginning of the religion.a

Chapter I

3On the sixteenth of April, after one thousand two hundred and seven years had been completed since the Incarnation of the Lord,b God saw that His people, whom He had redeemed by the precious blood of His only begotten Son, had forgotten His commandments and were ungrateful for His goodness. Although they deserved death, He had been merciful toward them for a long time, desiring not the death of the sinner, but that he be converted and live. Impelled by His most bountiful mercy, God willed to send workers into His vineyard.

He enlightened a man who was in the city of Assisi, Francis by name, a merchant by trade, and a very vain spendthrift of worldly wealth.

4One day he was in the shop where he customarily sold cloth, totally absorbed in business, when a poor man came in, begging alms for the Lord's sake. Preoccupied with thoughts of wealth and care of




Anonymus Perusinus, Fontes Franciscani, p. 1311-1312

De inceptione vel fundamento Ordinis et actibus illorum
fratrum Minorum qui fuerunt primi
in religione et socii B. Francisci.


2 1Quoniam servi Domini non debent ignorare viam et doctrinam sanctorum virorum, per quam ad Deum valeant pervenire, 2ideo ad honorem Dei et aedificationem legentium et audientium, ego qui actus eorum vidi, verba audivi, quorum etiam discipulus fui, aliqua de actibus beatissimi Patris nostri Francisci et aliquorum fratrum qui venerunt in principio Religionis narravi et compilavi, prout mens mea divinitus fuit docta.

Caput I
De modo quo B. Franciscus coepit servire Deo.

3 1Postquam impleti sunt anni ab incarnatione Domini 1207, mense aprilis XVI kalendas mai, videns populum suum Deus, quem Unigeniti Filii sui sanguine redemerat pretioso, mandatorum eius oblitum beneficiisque ingratum, cui licet digno morte multo tempore misertus fuerat, adhuc tamen nolens mortem peccatoris sed ut convertatur et vivat a , sua benignissima misericordia motus voluit operarios mittere in messem suam.

2Et illuminavit virum, qui erat in civitate Assisio, nomine Franciscum mercatoremque officio, dispensatorem vanissimum opulentiae saecularis.

4 1Qui cum quadam die in apotheca, in qua pannos consueverat vendere, circa huiusmodi negotia secum sollicitus cogitaret, apparuit pauper quidam postulans ab eo pro Domino elemosinam sibi dari. 2Cui dictus Franciscus, illectus cogitatione divitiarum et cura supradictorum,

Francis of Assisi: Early Documents, vol. 2, p. 34