The Assisi Compilation - 205 

whom the Son of God speaks in the Gospel: Do not be afraid, little flock, for it has pleased your Father to give you the kingdom; Lk 12:32 and again: What you did for one of these, the least of my brothers, you did it for me. Mt 25:40 For, although the Lord may be understood to be speaking of all the spiritually poor, he was nevertheless predicting the religion of the Lesser Brothers that was to come in His Church."

Therefore, as it was revealed to blessed Francis that it the was to be called the Religion of the Lesser Brothers, he had it so written in the first Rule, when he brought it before the Lord Pope Innocent III, and he approved and granted it, and later announced it to all in the Council.a Likewise, the Lord also revealed to him the greeting that the brothers should use, as he had written in his Testament: "The Lord revealed a greeting to me that we should say 'May the Lord give you peace.' "

At the beginning of the religion, when blessed Francis would go with a brother who was one of the first twelve brothers, that brother would greet men and women along the way as well as those in their field, saying: "May the Lord give you peace."

And because people had never before heard such a greeting from any religious, they were greatly amazed. Indeed, some would say almost indignantly: "What does this greeting of yours mean?" As a result that brother began to be quite embarrassed. Then he said to blessed Francis "Let me use another greeting."

Blessed Francis told him: "Let them talk, for they do not grasp what is of God. But do not be embarrassed, for one day the nobles and princes of this world will show respect to you and the other brothers because of a greeting of this sort." And blessed Francis said: "Isn't it great that the Lord wanted to have a little people among all those who preceded them who would be content to have Him alone, the Most High and most glorious?"

If any brother wanted to ask why blessed Francis in his own time did not make the brothers observe such a strict poverty as he told Brother Riccerio, and did not order it to be observed, we who were with him would respond to this as we heard from his mouth. Because he told the brothers this and many other things, and also had written down in the Rule what he requested from the Lord with relentless prayer and meditation for the good of the religion, affirming that it was completely the Lord's will.

Afterwards when he showed them, they seemed harsh and unbearable, for they did not know what was going to happen to the religion after his death. And because he feared scandal for himself and for the




Compilatio Assisiensis, Fontes Franciscani, p. 1637-1638

10ipsemet Dei Filius de ipsis dicit in Evangelio: Nolite timere pusillus grex, quia placuit Patri vestro dare vobis regnum, 11et iterum: Quod uni ex his minoribus fratribus meis fecistis michi fecistis. 12Quoniam licet de omnibus pauperibus spiritualibus intelligatur Dominus hoc dixisse, precipue tamen predixit Religionem fratrum Minorum esse venturam in Ecclesia sua ».

13Unde sicut revelatum fuit beato Francisco ut deberet vocari Religio Minorum fratrum, ita scribi fecit in prima Regula, cum portavit eam coram domino papa Innocentio III, et ipse approbavit et concessit sibi et postea in consilio omnibus annuntiavit. 14Similiter et salutationem quam deberent facere fratres Dominus ei revelavit, sicut scribi fecit in Testamento suo dicens: 15« Dominus michi revelavit ut deberem dicere pro salutatione: Dominus det tibi pacem ».

16Unde in primordio Religionis, cum iret beatus Franciscus cum quodam fratre qui fuit unus de .XII. primis fratribus, ille frater salutabat homines et mulieres per viam et eos qui erant in agris dicens: « Dominus det vobis pacem ».

17Et quia homines non audierant adhuc fieri ab aliquibus religiosis talem salutationem plurimum inde mirabantur. 18Immo aliqui homines quasi cum indignatione illis dicebant: « Quid sibi vult ista talis salutatio? ». 19Ita quod frater ille cepit inde plurimum verecundari. 20Unde dixit beato Francisco: « Dimitte, frater, aliam salutationem dicere ».

21Dixit ad eum beatus Franciscus: « Dimitte illos dicere, quia non percipiunt que Dei sunt. 22Sed noli inde verecundari, quoniam dico tibi, frater, quod adhuc nobiles et principes huius seculi de huiusmodi salutatione tibi et aliis fratribus reverentiam exhibebunt ». 23Et ait beatus Franciscus: « Non est magnum, si Dominus habere voluit quendam parvum populum inter omnes alios qui precesserunt, qui esset contentus habere ipsum solum altissimum et gloriosum? ».

24Si vero aliquis frater voluerit dicere, cur beatus Franciscus tempore suo ita strictam paupertatem, sicut dixit fratri Ricerio, non fecit fratribus observari et observandam non mandavit, 25nos vero qui cum ipso fuimus ad hoc respondemus, sicut audivimus ex ore eius, quoniam ipse fratribus hoc et alia plurima dixit ac etiam in Regula plura scribi fecit que cum assidua oratione et meditatione a Domino postulabat pro utilitate Religionis, affirmans eam penitus esse Domini voluntatem.

26Sed, vostquam eis ostendebat, gravia et importabilia ipsis videbantur, ignorantes tunc que ventura erant in Religione post mortem eius. 27Et quia plurimum timebat scandalum in se et in fratribus,

Francis of Assisi: Early Documents, vol. 2, p. 205