The Anonymous of Perugia - 50 

sponded: "My Lord, I trust in my Lord Jesus Christ. Since He has promised to give us life and glory in heaven, He will not deprive us of our bodily necessities when we need them on earth." "What you say is true, son," the pope replied, "but human nature is weak and never remains in the same state.a But, go and pray to the Lord with all your heart, so that He may show you what is better and more beneficial for your souls. Come back and tell me and I will then grant it."

35 Francis withdrew to pray. With a pure heart, he prayed to the Lord that in His ineffable piety He would reveal this to him. While he was engaged in prayer, with his whole heart focused on the Lord, the word of the Lord came into his heart and spoke to him figuratively. "There lived in the realm of a great king a very poor but beautiful woman, who caught the king's eye and by whom he fathered many sons. One day that woman began to think to herself: 'What am I to do, a poor woman with so many sons? I have no possessions to provide them with a livelihood!' While she was pondering all these things in her heart, her face became sad. When the king arrived, he said to her 'What is the matter? I see that you are lost in thought and sad.' With her whole heart she told him all her thoughts. The king told her: 'Do not be afraid of your dire poverty, nor of the sons you have, and the many you will have. If the many hired hands in my house have their fill of food, I certainly do not want my own sons to die of hunger. No, I want them to have even more than the others.'"

The man of God, Francis, immediately understood that the poor woman symbolized him.b As a result, the man of God strengthened his resolve to observe most holy poverty in the future.

36 Getting up at that very hour, he went to the Apostolic Lord, and told him all that the Lord had revealed to him.

On hearing this, the Lord Pope was greatly amazed that the Lord had revealed His will to so simple a man. And he realized that he was not proceeding according to human wisdom, but in the display and power of the Spirit. 1 Cor 2:4

Then blessed Francis bowed down and humbly and devotedly promised obedience and reverence to the Lord Pope. And the other brothers, because they had not yet promised obedience, likewise promised obedience and reverence to blessed Francis according to the precept of the Lord Pope.




Anonymus Perusinus, Fontes Franciscani, p. 1337-1339

5Respondit beatus Franciscus: « Domine, confido in meo Domino Iesu Christo. 6Quoniam qui promittit nobis dare in caelo vitam et gloriam, non subtrahet nobis necessaria corporis in terra tempore opportuno ». 7Respondit Papa: « Verum est quod tu dicis, fili; tamen humana natura fragilis est et numquam in eodem statu permanet. 8Sed vade et ex toto corde Dominum deprecare, ut meliora et utiliora animabus vestris tibi dignetur ostendere. 9Et rediens mihi nuncia, et ego ea postmodum concedam ».

35 1Tunc abiens ad orationem, oravit ad Dominum puro corde, ut per suam ineffabilem pietatem hoc ei ostendere dignaretur. 2Cumque iam in oratione perseverasset et totum cor suum ad Dominum collegisset, factum est verbum Domini in cor eius, et per similitudinem dixit ei: 3 « Fuit in regno cuiusdam magni Regis mulier quaedam, paupercula plurimum sed decora, quae oculis Regis placuit, et ex ea plures filios generavit. 4Quadam vero die coepit mulier illa cogitare intra se dicens: 'Quid faciam ego paupercula, cui tot nati sunt filii nec possessiones habeo, unde vivere possint?'. 5Cum vero in corde suo talia cogitaret, et prae multitudine cogitationum tristis eius facies redderetur, apparuit Rex et dixit ei: 'Quid habes, quia cogitantem te video, et esse tristem?'. 6At illa dixit ei omnes animi sui cogitationes. 7Respondit ei Rex, dicens: 'Noli timere de tua nimia paupertate, nec de filiis tibi natis et plurimis nascituris, quoniam cum multi mercenarii in domo mea abundent panibus, nolo ego quod filii mei fame pereant, sed volo eos plus aliis abundare' ».

8Intellexit statim vir Dei Franciscus se per mulierem illam pauperculam designari. 9Ex hoc igitur vir Dei suum propositum stabilivit, sanctissimam paupertatem de cetero observare.

36 1Et surgens eadem hora ivit ad Apostolicum, et ea quae sibi Dominus revelaverat indicavit.

2Audiens autem hoc dominus Papa miratus est vehementer, quoniam homini tam simplici suam Dominus revelaverat voluntatem. 3Et cognovit quoniam non in sapientia hominum ambulabat, sed in ostensione Spiritus et virtute.

4Deinde inclinavit se beatus Franciscus et promisit domino Papae obedientiam et reverentiam humiliter et devote. 5Et alii fratres, quia obedientiam nondum promiserant, secundum praeceptum domini Papae beato Francisco obedientiam et reverentiam similiter promiserunt.

Francis of Assisi: Early Documents, vol. 2, p. 50