The Assisi Compilation - 161 

"After receiving the bishop's blessing, let them go and have a big ditch dug around the land which they received for building the place, and as a sign of holy poverty and humility, let them place a hedge there, instead of a wall. Afterwards they may have poor little houses built, of mud and wood, and some little cells where the brothers can sometimes pray and where, for their own greater decency and also to avoid idle words, they can work.

"They may also have churches made; however, the brothers must not have large churches made, in order to preach to the people there or for any other reason, for it is greater humility and better example when the brothers go to other churches to preach, so that they may observe holy poverty and their humility and decency."

"And if prelates and clerics, religious or secular, should sometimes visit their places, their poor house, little cells, and churches in that place will preach to them and edify them."

"The brothers often have large buildings made, breaking with our holy poverty, resulting in complaints and bad example to their neighbor. Afterwards, they abandon those places and buildings for the sake of better or healthier places, prompting those who gave alms there, as well as others who see or hear about this to be scandalized and greatly upset. It is, therefore, better that the brothers have small and poor places built, observing their profession, and giving their neighbor good example, rather than making things contrary to their profession and offering bad example to others. For, if it should ever happen that the brothers leave their little places and poor buildings for the sake of a more decent place, that would be very bad example and scandal."


During those days and in the same cell where blessed Francis spoke about these things to Lord Bonaventure, one evening he wanted to vomit because of the disease of his stomach.a Because of the strain he put on himself in vomiting, he vomited up blood all night until morning.

When his companions saw him already almost dying from weakness and the pain of his illness, they said to him with great sorrow




Compilatio Assisiensis, Fontes Franciscani, p. 1548-1550

16 « Deinde accepta benedictioiie ab episcopo, vadant et faciant mitti magnam carbonariam in circuitu terre quam pro loci hedificatione acceperunt, et ponant ibi bonam sepem pro muro, in signum sancte paupertatis et humilitatis. 17Postea faciant fieri domos pauperculas ex luto et lignis constructas et aliquas cellulas, ubi fratres aliquando possint orare et pro maiori honestate ipsorum et etiam cautela verborum otiosorum laborare valeant.

18Ecclesias etiam fieri faciant; non enim debent fratres facere fieri magnas ecclesias occasione ibi populo predicandi nec aliqua occasione, 19quoniam maiorhumilitas est et melius exemplum, cum fratres vadunt ad alias ecclesias ad predicandum, ut observent sanctam paupertatem et ipsorum humilitatem et honestatem ».

20« Et si aliquando prelati et clerici, religiosi seu seculares, ad loca ipsorum diverterint, domus paupercule et cellule et ecclesie ipsorum existentium in loco illo, illis predicabunt et inde hedificabuntur ».

21Et ait: « Multotiens enim fratres faciunt fieri magna hedificia rumpendo sanctam nostram paupertatem et in murmurationem et malum exemplum proximi. 22Et postea, occasione melioris vel et sanioris loci, dimittunt illa loca et hedificia, unde illi, qui dederunt ibi helemosinas suas et alii hoc, videntes et audientes scandalizantur inde plurimum et conturbantur. 23Quapropter melius est ut fratres parva et paupercula loca et hedificia fieri faciant, observando professionem suam, et bonum exemplum dando proximis, quam si contra professionem suam fecerint et malum exemplum aliis exhibuerint. 24Nam si aliquando contingeret, quod fratres occasione honestioris loci, loca parva et paupercula hedificia dimitterent, nimis malum exemplum et scandalum inde esset ».


1In illis autem diebus et in eadem cella ubi beatus Franciscus hec verba dixerat domino Bonaventure, quodam sero, cum propter infirmitatem stomachi evomere vellet, accidit ei, ut magna vi quam sibi fecit in evomendo, evomeret sanguinem, et sic per totam noctem usque in hora matutinali sanguinem evomuit.

2Cumque socii cernerent ipsum pre debilitate et dolore infirmitatis quasi iam mori, cum multo dolore et lacrimarum effusione dixerunt ad illum:

Francis of Assisi: Early Documents, vol. 2, p. 161