The Assisi Compilation - 212 

"Nevertheless, until the day of my death, I will not cease teaching the brothers by example and action to walk by the path which the Lord showed me, and which I showed and explained to them. Thus, they will have no excuse before the Lord, and I will not be bound to render any further account about them or about myself before the Lord."

Thus he had it written in his Testament that all houses of the brothers should be built of mud and wood, as a sign of holy poverty and humility, and the churches constructed for the brothers must be small. In fact, he wanted reform on this matter, that is, houses constructed of wood and mud, and in every other good example to begin in the place of Saint Mary of the Portiuncula. This was the first place where, after they settled there, the Lord began to multiply the brothers, and it should be an external reminder to the other brothers who are in religion and those who will come to it.a

But some told him it did not seem good to them that the houses of the brothers had to be constructed of mud and wood because in many places and provinces wood is more expensive than stone. But blessed Francis did not wish to argue with them because he was very sick and close to death, and, he lived only a short time afterwards. This is the reason he wrote in his Testament: "Let the brothers be careful not to receive in any way churches or dwellings or any other things built for them, unless they are according to the poverty we have promised in the Rule, as pilgrims and strangers let them always be guests there."

We who were with him when he wrote the Rule and almost all his other writings bear witness that he had many things written in the Rule and in his other writings, to which certain brothers, especially prelates, were opposed. So it happened that on points where the brothers were opposed to blessed Francis during his life, now, after his death, they would be very useful to the whole religion. Because he greatly feared scandal, he gave in, although unwillingly, to the wishes of the brothers. But he often repeated this saying: "Woe to those brothers who are opposed to what I know to be the will of God for the greatest good of the religion, even if I unwillingly give in to their wishes."

He often said to his companions: "Here lies my pain and grief: those things which I received from God by His mercy with great effort of prayer and meditation for the present and future good of the religion, and which are, as He assures me, in accordance with His




Compilatio Assisiensis, Fontes Franciscani, p. 1650-1652

21Veruntamen usque ad diem mortis mee, exemplo et operatione, non cessabo docere fratres ambulare per viam quam michi Dominus ostendit, 22et ego ostendi eis et ipsos informavi ut sint inexcusabiles coram Domino et ego coram Deo de ipsis et de me non tenear reddere rationem ulterius ».

23Unde tunc in Testamento suo fecit scribi, quod omnes domus fratrum ex luto et lignis deberent construi in signum sancte paupertatis et humilitatis, et quod ecclesie que pro fratribus construuntur, essent parve. 24Immo voluit ut hoc inciperet reformari maxime de domibus ex lignis et luto constructis, 25et de omnibus aliis bonis exemplis in loco Sancte Marie de Portiuncula, qui fuit primus locus ubi postquam fratres manserunt, cepit fratres Dominus multiplicare ut in eternum esset hoc memoriale ceteris fratribus, qui sunt et erunt venturi ad Religionem.

26Sed quidam dixerunt ei quod non videbatur eis bonum, quod domus fratrum deberent construi ex luto et lignis, quoniam in pluribus locis et provinciis cariora sint ligna lapidibus. 27Et beatus Franciscus nolebat contendere cum eis, quia erat valde infirmus et quoniam erat prope mortem, quia parum postea vixit. 28Unde scripsit postea in Testamento suo: « Caveant sibi fratres, ut ecclesias et habitacula et omnia alia que pro ipsis construuntur quod penitus non recipiant ea nisi essent sicut decet sanctam paupertatem quam in Regula promisimus, semper ibi hospitantes, sicut advene et peregrini ».

29Nos vero qui cum ipso fuimus, quando scripsit Regulam et fere omnia alia sua scripta, testimonium perhibemus, quod plura fecit scribi in Regula et aliis suis scriptis, de quibus quidam fratres fuerunt sibi contrarii, et maxime prelati. 30Unde accidit quod in hiis, in quibus fratres fuerunt contrarii beato Francisco in vita sua, nunc post mortem essent valde utilia toti Religioni. 31Sed quia ipse plurimum timebat scandalum, condescendebat, licet involuntarius, voluntatibus fratrum. 32Sed sepe dicebat hunc sermonem: « Ve illis fratribus qui sunt michi contrarii de hoc, quod cognosco, quod voluntas Dei est pro maiori utilitate Religionis, licet invitus condescendam voluntati eorum. ».

33Unde sepe dicebat sociis suis: « In hoc est dolor meus et afflictio mea, quod ea cum multo labore orationis et meditationis a Deo per misericordiam suam obtineo pro utilitate presenti et futura totius Religionis, et ab ipso sum certificatus, quod secundum voluntatem eius sunt,

Francis of Assisi: Early Documents, vol. 2, p. 212