The Assisi Compilation - 196 


Another time while he was staying at Saint Mary of the Portiuncula, a poor old woman who had two sons in religion, came to that place seeking some alms of blessed Francis because that year she did not have enough to live.

Blessed Francis said to Brother Peter of Catanio, who was the general minister at the time: "Have we anything to give our mother?" For he used to say that the mother of any brother was his own and that of all the brothers in the religion. Brother Peter told him: "We do not have anything in the house that we can give her, especially since she wants such alms as would provide for her corporal needs. In the church we only have one New Testament for reading the lessons at matins." At that time, the brothers did not have breviaries and not many psalters.

Blessed Francis responded: "Give our mother the New Testament, so she can sell it for her needs. I firmly believe that the Lord and the Blessed Virgin, His Mother, will be pleased more by giving it to her than if you read in it." And so he gave it to her.

For it can be said and written about blessed Francis, what was said and written about Job: Mercy grew up with me and it came out with me from my mother's womb. Jb 31:18

For us, who were with him, it would take a long time to write and recount not only what we learned from others about his charity and piety toward the poor, but also what we saw with our own eyes.


At the same time when blessed Francis was staying in the hermitage of Saint Francis (!) at Fonte Colombo,a a cattle disease, commonly called basabove,b from which none usually escapes, happened




Compilatio Assisiensis, Fontes Franciscani, p. 1617-1619


1Alio tempore dum maneret apud ecclesiam Sancte Marie de Portiuncula, quedam mulier vetula et paupercula, que habebat duos filios in Religione fratrum, venit ad locum illum querens aliquam helemosinam beato Francisco, maxime quia illo anno non habebat unde vivere posset.

2Beatus Franciscus dixit fratri Petro Cathanii, qui erat tunc generalis minister: « Possumusne habere aliquid ut demus illi matri nostre? ». 3Quoniam matrem alicuius fratris suam et aliorum omnium fratrum de Religione dicebat esse. 4Respondit ei frater Petrus: « In domo non habemus aliquid quod possimus sibi dare, maxime quia vellet talem helemosinam ut possit inde habere sui corporis necessaria. 5In ecclesia habemus solummodo unum Novum Testamentum, in quo lectiones legimus ad matutinum ». 6Nam illo tempore fratres breviaria non habebant, sed nec multa psalteria.

7Dixit autem ad eum beatus Franciscus: « Da matri nostre Novum Testamentum, ut vendat ipsum pro sua necessitate; et credo firmiter quod magis placebit Domino et beate Virgini matri sue quam si in ipso legeretis ». 8Et sic dedit illi.

9Nam illud potest dici et scribi de beato Francisco, quod dicitur et legitur de beato Iob: Ab utero matris mee egressa est et crevit mecum miseratio.

10Unde nobis qui cum ipso fuimus, non solum ea que ab aliis de eius caritate et pietate erga pauperes intelleximus, sed que oculis nostris vidimus, longum esset scribere et narrare.


1Eodem tempore cum maneret beatus Franciscus in heremitorio S. Francisci (!) de Fonte Columbarum, accidit ut quedam infirmitas boum, que vulgo dicitur basabove, de qua nullus evadere solet,

Francis of Assisi: Early Documents, vol. 2, p. 196