The Assisi Compilation - 148 

some so that we may be less of a burden to people, and that in idleness the heart and tongue may not stray." But he would not have profit or payment for work left to the whim of the worker, but entrusted it to the guardian or the family].


[Those two bright lights of the world,] namely, [Saint Francis and Saint Dominic,a were once in the City with the Lord of Ostia, who later became Supreme Pontiff. As they took turns pouring out honey-sweet words about the Lord, the bishop finally said to them: "In the early Church the Church's shepherds were poor, and men of charity, not on fire with greed. Why don't we make bishops and prelates of your brothers who excel in teaching and example."

There arose a disagreement between the saints about answering, neither wishing to go first, but rather each deferring to the other. Each urged the other to reply. Each seemed superior to the other, since each was devoted to the other. At last humility conquered Francis as he did not speak first, but it also conquered Dominic, since in speaking first, he humbly obeyed Francis. Blessed Dominic therefore answered the bishop, "My lord, my brothers are already raised to a good level, if they will only realize it, and as much as possible I would not allow them to obtain any other] appearance [of dignity." As this brief response ended, Blessed Francis bowed to the bishop and said: "My lord, my brothers are called 'lesser' precisely so they will not presume to become 'greater.' Mt 20:26 They have been called this to teach them to stay down to earth, and to follow the footprints of Christ's 1 Pt 2:21 humility, which in the end will exalt them above others in the sight of the saints. If you want them to bear fruit in the Church of God, keep them in the status in which they were called and hold them to it. Bring them back down to ground level even against their will. Never allow them to rise to become prelates" These were the replies of the saints.]

[When they finished their replies, the Lord of Ostia was greatly edified by the words of both and gave unbounded thanks to God. Acts 27:35 And as they left that place, blessed Dominic asked Saint Francis to be




Compilatio Assisiensis, Fontes Franciscani, p. 1520-1522

et eos qui nesciunt aliquas artes addiscere, ut minus, inquit, simus hominibus onerosi, et ne in otio cor aut lingua vagetur ». 5Lucrum autem vel mercedem laboris non laborantis arbitrio, sed guardiani vel familie committebat.


1In Urbe cum domino Hostiense, qui postea summus pontifex fuit, clara illa luminaria orbis aderant, videlicet sanctus Franciscus et sanctus Dominicus. 2Qui cum melliflua vicissim de Deo eructarent, dixit tandem episcopus illis: « In ecclesia primitiva pastores pauperes erant, et homines caritate et non cupiditate ferventes. 3Cur igitur non facimus de vestris fratribus episcopos et prelatos, qui documento et exemplo prevalent? ».

4Fit inter sanctos de respondendo contentio, non precipientibus sed efferentibus, quin immo se cogentibus ad responsum. 5Siquidem uterque prior erat alterius, dum uterque devotus in alterum. 6Vicit tandem humilitas Franciscum ne se preponeret, vicit et Dominicum, ut prius respondendo, humiliter obediret. 7Respondens ergo beatus Dominicus dixit episcopo: « Domine, gradu bono, si cognoscunt, sublimati sunt fratres mei, nec pro meo posse permittam ut aliud assequantur speculum dignitatis ». 8Hec itaque sic breviter perorante, inclinans se beatus Franciscus coram episcopo dixit: « Domine, minores ideo vocati sunt fratres mei ut maiores fieri non presumant. 9Docet eorum vocatio ipsos in plano subsistere, et humilitatis Christi sequi vestigia, quo tandem in respectione sanctorum plus aliis exaltentur. 10Si vultis, ait, ut fructum faciant in Ecclesia Dei, tenete illos et conservate in statu vocationis eorum, et ad plana reducite vel invitos. 11Et ad prelationem illos ascendere nullatenus permittatis ». 12Hec beatorum responsa.

13Finitis vero responsionibus, multum de utriusque sermonibus hedificatus dominus Hostiensis immensas Deo gratias egit. 14Discedentibus autem inde rogavit beatus Dominicus sanctum Franciscum,

ut sibi cordam, qua cingebatur dignaretur concedere. 15Lentus ad hoc fuit beatus Franciscus, eadem humilitate qua ille caritate poscebat. 16Vicit tamen felix postulantis devotio, et concessam sub inferiori tunica devotissime cinxit. 17Tandem manus inter manus ponuntur, et mutue recommendationes dulcissime fiunt.

Francis of Assisi: Early Documents, vol. 2, p. 148