The Assisi Compilation - 223 

the brothers and others who saw him in devotion to God. He was willingly considered a saint by the brothers and others.

After he had been living this way for several years, it happened that blessed Francis came to that place where he was staying. When he heard the brothers tell him about this brother's way of life, he said: "Know for a truth that this is diabolical temptation and deception, because he does not want to confess."

In the meantime the general minister came there to visit blessed Francis and began to praise this brother in front of blessed Francis. "Believe me, brother," blessed Francis told him, "this brother is led and deceived by an evil spirit."

The general minister replied to him: "I find it amazing and almost unbelievable that a man who shows so many signs and works of holiness, can be what you say he is."

"Test him then," blessed Francis replied. "Tell him to go to confession twice or even once a week. If he does not listen to you, you will know what I told you is true."

One day when the general minister was speaking to this brother, he told him: "Brother, I want you to confess twice or at least once a week."

He put a finger to his lips and shook his head, showing by signs that he would in no way do that. The minister, however, fearing that he would scandalize him, let him go. A few days later he left the religion of his own will, and returned to the world wearing secular clothing.

One day while two companions of blessed Francis were walking along some road, they met him. He was walking alone like a very poor pilgrim. Feeling compassion for him, they said: "You wretch, where is your holy and upright life? You used to love the solitary life so much that you did not want to show yourself to your brothers nor speak to them. And now you go wandering through the world like a man who does not know God or his servants."

He began to speak to them, often swearing on his faith like secular people.

"Wretched man," the brothers told him, "why do you swear on your faith like secular people? When you were in religion, you abstained not only from idle words, but from even good ones." He told them: "It can't be different."

They left him. And a few days later, he died.

The brothers and others were quite amazed, as they reflected on the holiness of blessed Francis who had predicted his fall at a time when he was considered a saint by the brothers and others.




Compilatio Assisiensis, Fontes Franciscani, p. 1675-1677

ut omnes fratres et alios ipsum videntes attraheret in devotionem Dei: 4unde a fratribus et aliis videbatur libenter tamquam sanctus.

5Cumque per plures annos in huiusmodi conversatione persisteret, accidit quod beatus Franciscus venit ad locum ubi erat ille, et factum est, dum audiret a fratribus conversationem illius, [quod] dixit fratribus: 6« Sciatis in veritate, quoniam diabolica temptatio est et deceptio, quia non vult confiteri ».

7Interim generalis minister advenit illuc ad visitandum beatum Franciscum, et cepit commendare illum coram beato Francisco. 8Beatus Franciscus dixit ei: « Crede michi, frater, quoniam a maligno spiritu ducitur et decipitur iste frater ».

9Cui generalis minister respondit, dicens: « Mirum michi videtur et quasi incredibile, ut in homine, in quo apparent tot signa et opera sanctitatis, possit esse quod dicis ».

10Dixit ad eum beatus Franciscus: « Proba ipsum, dicens ut saltem bis vel semel ad minus in hebdomada confiteatur; si autem te non audierit, scias verum esse quod dixi tibi ».

11Cumque quadam die loqueretur cum fratre illo minister generalis, dixit ad eum: « Frater, volo penitus quod bis vel semel ad minus in hebdomada confitearis ».

12Ille posuit digitum ad os suum, ducens caput, signis ostendens quod nullatenus faceret. 13Minister vero, timens illum scandalizare, dimisit eum. 14Et non post multos dies egressus est voluntarie de Religione et reversus est ad seculum, portans habitum secularem.

15Factum est autem, dum quadam die duo ex sociis beati Francisci ambularent per quandam viam, obviaverunt illi, qui ambulabat solus tamquam pauperrimus peregrinus. 16Cui compatientes dixerunt: « O miser, ubi est sancta conversatio et honestas tua? 17Nolebas enim te ostendere fratribus tuis et loqui eis, tantum, diligebas solitariam vitam; 18et modo discurrendo vadis per mundum, tamquam homo ignorans Deum et servos eius ».

19Ille autem cepit eis loqui, sepe iurans in sua fide sicut homines seculares.

20Et dixerunt ei fratres: « Miser homo, cur in verbis tuis iuras in tua fide sicut homines seculares, qui olim in Religione non tantum a verbis otiosis, sed etiam a bonis silebas? ». 21Qui respondit eis: « Non potest esse aliud ».

22Et sic dimiserunt illum. Et non post multos dies sic mortuus est.

23Et plurimum admirati sunt inde fratres et alii, considerantes sanctitatem beati Francisci predicentis illis casum suum, tempore quo a fratribus et aliis reputabatur sanctus.

Francis of Assisi: Early Documents, vol. 2, p. 223