The Anonymous of Perugia - 38 

Brother Bernard, and the other, Brother Peter.a They told Francis simply: "We wish to live with you from now on and do what you are doing. Tell us, therefore, what we should do with our possessions." Overjoyed at their coming and their resolve he answered them kindly: "Let us go and seek counsel from the Lord."

So they went to one of the city's churches. Upon entering it, they fell on their knees and humbly prayed: "Lord, God, Father of glory, we beg you in your mercy, show us what we are to do." After finishing the prayer, they asked the priest of the church who was there: "Sir, would you show us the Gospel of Our Lord Jesus Christ."

11 And, since before this happened none of them knew how to read very well,b when the priest opened up the book, they immediately found the passage If you wish to be perfect, go, sell everything you possess and give to the poor, and you will have a treasure in heaven. Mk 10:21 c Opening up the book a second time, they discovered: Whoever wishes to come after me . . . . Mt 16:24 When they opened up the book for the third time, they came upon: Take nothing for the journey . . . Lk 9:3 When they heard this, they were filled with great joy and exclaimed: "This is what we want, this is what we were seeking." And blessed Francis said: "This will be our rule." Then he told both of them: "Go and may you fulfill the Lord's counsel as you heard it."

Then Brother Bernard, who was rich, sold all his possessions, acquiring a large sum of money from the transaction. Brother Peter, on the other hand, who was poor in worldly goods, now became rich in spiritual goods. Therefore, he also did as the Lord's counsel would have it. Summoning the city's poor people, they gave them the money acquired from the sale of their goods.

12 While they were doing this, and blessed Francis was present, a priest named Sylvester came. Blessed Francis had purchased stones from him for the repair of the church of San Damiano where he had lived before he acquired brothers.

When the priest saw them giving away so much money, consumed by a burning passion of greed, he craved to be given some of




Anonymus Perusinus, Fontes Franciscani, p. 1316-1318

2Unus ex his fuit frater Bernardus et alius frater Petrus. 3Et dixerunt ei simpliciter: « Volumus esse tecum de cetero, et facere quae tu facis. Dic ergo nobis quid de rebus nostris facere debeamus ». 4Qui de adventu et voto eorum exsultans benigne respondit eis:« Eamus et a Domino consilium requiramus ».

5Abierunt igitur ad quandam civitatis eiusdem Ecclesiam, et intrantes in eam positis genibus humiliter in oratione dixerunt: 6 « Domine Deus, Pater gloriae, rogamus te ut per tuam misericordiam ostendas nobis quid facere debeamus ». 7Expleta autem oratione dixerunt sacerdoti eiusdem Ecclesiae, qui ibidem praesens erat: 8 « Domine, ostendas nobis Evangelium Domini nostri IesuChristi ».

11 1Et cum aperuisset sacerdos librum, quia ipsi adhuc bene gere nesciebant, invenerunt statim locum ubi scriptum erat: Si vis perfectus esse, vade et vende omnia quae habes et da pauperibus, et habebis thesaurum in caelo a. 2Et iterum revolventes invenerunt: Qui vult venire post me, et cetera. 3Et iterum revolventes reppererunt: Nihil tuleritis in via, et cetera. 4Audientes autem hoc gavisi sunt gaudio magno valde, et dixerunt: « Ecce quod desiderabamus, ecce quod quaerebamus ». 5Dixitque beatus Franciscus: « Haec erit regula nostra ». 6Deinde ait illis duobus: « Ite et sicut audistis consilium Domini faciatis ».

7Abiit ergo frater Bernardus et quia dives erat, venditis omnibus possessionibus suis, fecit multam pecuniam, inde. 8Ille vero frater Petrus pauper fuerat temporalibus, sed iam dives spiritualibus factus erat. 9Facit ergo et ipse sicut habuerat consilium Domini. 10Congregantesque pauperes civitatis, ipsis pecuniam quam de facultatibus suis venditis tulerant erogabant.

12 1Dum hoc facerent et beatus Franciscus adesset, venit quidam sacerdos Silvester nomine, a quo beatus Franciscus emerat lapides pro Ecclesia Sancti Damiani resarcienda, apud quam etiam morabatur antequam socios haberet fratres.

2Videns igitur dictus sacerdos illos taliter pecuniam expendentes, avaritiae anhelans aestibus, concupivit de illa pecunia sibi dari et coepit murmurare, dicens:

Francis of Assisi: Early Documents, vol. 2, p. 38