The Legend of the Three Companions - 87 

the stones which you bought from me." The scorner of greed, hearing him complaining unjustly, approached Lord Bernard, and putting his hand into his cloak where the money was, in great fervor of spirit, filled it with a handful of coins, and gave them to the disgruntled priest. He filled his hand with money a second time, and said to him: "Do you now have full payment, Lord Priest?" "I have it completely, brother," he replied. Overjoyed, he returned home with his money.

31But after a few days that same priest, inspired by the Lord, began to reflect on these things blessed Francis had done, and he said to himself: "Am I not a miserable man? Old as I am, don't I still covet and desire the things of this world? And this young man despises and scorns them all for the love of God!"

The following night he saw in a dream an immense cross. Its top reached to the heavens, its base rested fixed in the mouth of the blessed Francis, and its arms stretched from one part of the world to the other.

When he woke, therefore, the priest understood and resolutely believed that Francis was indeed Christ's friend and servant, and the religion which he founded would spread all over the world. From then on he began to fear God and to do penance in his own home. At last, after a little while, he entered the Order in which he lived excellently and ended gloriously.

32The man of God, Francis, accompanied by his two brothers, had no place to stay, so he moved with them to a poor little abandoned church, which was called Saint Mary of the Portiuncula. And there they built a little hut in which they would live from time to time.

After a few days, an Assisian, named Giles, came to them and, on his knees, begged the man of God with great reverence and devotion to accept him into his company. When the man of God saw how unusually faithful and devout the man was, realizing that he was able to obtain great grace from God, as later became clear by his success, he received him with open arms. These four, united in immense happiness and the joy of the Holy Spirit, separated for greater spiritual advantage.

33Blessed Francis, taking Brother Giles with him, went into the Marches of Ancona; the other two went into another area. While going to the Marches, they rejoiced enthusiastically in the Lord; the holy man, however, sang with a loud and clear voice, in French, the praises of the Lord, blessing and glorifying the goodness of the Most High. There was as much happiness in them as if they had found a great

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Legenda Trium Sociorum, Fontes Franciscani, p. 1403-1406


« Francisce, non bene solvisti mihi pro lapidibus quos emisti a me ». 3Audiens ergo avaritiae contemptor illum murmurantem iniuste, accessit ad dominum Bernardum mittensque manum in clamidem eius ubi erat pecunia, cum magno fervore spiritus extraxit eam plenam denariis et dedit presbytero murmuranti. 4Et iterum, secundo implens manum pecunia dixit illi: « Habes adhuc plene solutionem, domine sacerdos? ». Et respondit: « Plene habeo, frater ». 5Et laetus ad domum suam revertitur cum pecunia sic accepta.

31 1Post paucos autem dies, idem sacerdos inspiratus a Domino coepit super his quae beatus Franciscus egerat cogitare, et dicebat intra se: « Nonne sum miser homo, qui cum sim senex temporalia concupisco et quaero? Et hic iuvenis ea pro Dei amore despicit et abhorret ».

2Sequenti autem nocte, vidit in soinnis crucem immensam cuius summitas caelos tangebat et pes eius stabat a fixus in ore Francisci, ipsiusque latera ab una parte mundi ad alteram tendebantur.

 3Evigilans ergo sacerdos cognovit et credidit firmiter Franciscum esse vere amicum et servum Christi, atque religionem quam coeperat esse per universum mundum protinus dilatandam. 4Sicque coepit Deum timere et in domo sua poenitentiam agere. 5Tandem vero, post modicum tempus, ingressus est ordinem iam inceptum, in quo optime vixit et gloriose finivit.

32 1Vir autem Dei Franciscus duobus, ut dictum est, fratribus sociatus cum non haberet hospicium ubi cum eis maneret, simul cum ipsis ad quamdam pauperculam ecclesiam derelictam se transtulit, quae Sancta Maria de Portiuncula dicebatur, et fecerunt ibi unam domunculam in qua aliquando pariter morarentur.

2Post aliquot autem dies, vir quidam assisinas, Egidius nomine, venit ad eos et cum magna reverentia et devotione, flexis genibus, rogavit virum Dei ut eum in suam societatem reciperet. 3Quem cum vir Dei videret fidelissimum et devotum et quod multam gratiam a Deo consequi poterat, ut postea patuit per effectum, libenter eum recepit. 4Coniuncti vero hi quatuor, cum immensa laetitia et gaudio Spiritus sancti ad maiorem profectum se taliter diviserunt.

33 1Beatus Franciscus assumens fratrem Egidium secum ivit in Marchiam Anconitanam, alii autem duo in regionem aliam perrexerunt. 2Euntes ergo in Marchiam exultabant vehementer in Domino, sed vir sanctus, alta et clara voce laudes Domini gallice cantans, benedicebat et glorificabat Altissimi bonitatem. 3Tanta vero erat in eis laetitia quasi magnum thesaurum invenissent in evangelico praedio dominae paupertatis,

3Tanta vero erat in eis laetitia quasi magnum thesaurum invenissent in evangelico praedio dominae paupertatis, cuius amore omnia temporalia velut stercora contempserant liberaliter et libenter.

Francis of Assisi: Early Documents, vol. 2, p. 87

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