The Legend of the Three Companions - 106 

devotion and eagerness. Although blessed Francis excused himself, claiming he was simple and stupid, he nevertheless had to accompany that man to the Curia.

When blessed Francis presented himself before the Lord Pope and the cardinals, they saw him with boundless joy. Getting up, he preached to them, prepared only by the Holy Spirit's anointing. After he finished speaking, he commended his religion to the Lord Pope and to all the cardinals. The Lord Pope and lord cardinals had been greatly edified by his preaching, and their hearts were moved to a more burning love of the religion.

65Afterwards blessed Francis told the Supreme Pontiff: "Lord, I am suffering with you over the worry and continuing labor with which you must watch over God's Church, and I am greatly ashamed that you must have such solicitude and care for us lesser brothers. For, since many nobles, rich people, as well as many religious, are unable to come to you, we, who are surely poor and looked down upon by some religious, must have great fear and shame not only to have access to you, but even to stand at your door and to presume to knock at the tabernacle of Christian virtue. Therefore, I humbly and resolutely beg your Holiness to give us the Lord of Ostia as pope, so that, at a time of need, the brothers may have recourse to him, always saving your pre-eminent dignity."

The Lord Pope was pleased with the petition, and he granted blessed Francis that Lord of Ostia, appointing him a most fitting protector of his religion.

66With the mandate of the Lord Pope, as a good protector, he extended his influence to protect the brothers, writing to many prelates who were persecuting the brothers. He did this so that they would no longer oppose them, but would rather give them advice and assistance in preaching and living in their provinces, as good and holy religious approved by the authority of the Apostolic See. Many other cardinals likewise sent their own letters for the same reason.

In the following chapter, after blessed Francis gave the ministers permission to receive brothers into the Order, he sent them to those provinces, carrying the letters of the cardinals as well as the Rule confirmed by the apostolic seal. Once the prelates saw all of these, and recognized the endorsements shown by the brothers, they permitted the brothers to build, live, and preach in their provinces.

And after the brothers lived and preached in this way in those provinces, many people, seeing their humble and holy way of life, and hearing their very pleasant words, moving and inflaming

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Legenda Trium Sociorum, Fontes Franciscani, p. 1437-1438


atque suam religionem eis devote et affectuose commendaret. 2Licet autem beatus Franciscus se excusaret de hoc dicens se esse simplicem et idiotam, oportuit tamen ipsum ire cum illo ad curiam.

3Cumque beatus Franciscus se coram domino papa et cardinalibus praesentasset, visus est ab eis cum ingenti gaudio, et surgens praedicavit eis sicut fuerat sola Spiritus sancti unctione praemonitus. 4Finita vero praedicatione, recommendavit religionem suam domino papae et cardinalibus universis. 5De praedicatione autem ipsius aedificati fuerunt quamplurimum dominus papa et domini cardinales, eorumque viscera ad religionis amorem affectuosius sunt commota.

65 1Postea dixit beatus Franciscus summo pontifici: « Domine, compatior vobis super sollicitudine et labore continuo quo vos oportet pro Dei ecclesia vigilare, multumque verecundor quod pro nobis fratribus minoribus tantam curam et sollicitudinem habeatis. 2Cum enim multi nobiles et divites ac religiosi quamplurimi ad vos intrare non possint, magnus timor et verecundia debet esse nobis qui sumus magis pauperes et despecti ceteris religiosis, non solum ingredi ad vos, sed etiam stare ante ostium vestrum et praesumere pulsare tabernaculum virtutis christianorum. 3Propterea, Sanctitati vestrae supplico humiliter et devote quatenus hunc dominum Ostiensem nobis dignemini pro papa concedere, ut ad eum tempore necessitatis possint fratres recurrere, salva semper vestrae praeeminentiae dignitate ».

4Et placuit haec petitio domino papae, concessitque beato Francisco praefatum dominum Ostiensem, instituens ipsum super religionem suam dignissimum protectorem.

66 1Qui, habito domini papae mandato, sicut bonus protector ad defendendum fratres manum extendit, scribens multis praelatis qui persecutiones intulerant fratribus ne ulterius essent eis contrarii, 2sed potius ad praedicandum et habitandum in suis provinciis consilium et auxilium eis darent, tanquam bonis et sanctis religiosis, auctoritate Sedis apostolicae approbatis. 3Similiter et alii quamplures cardinales ad idem suas litteras transmiserunt.

4In sequenti ergo capitulo, data licentia ministris a beato Francisco recipiendi fratres ad ordinem, misit eos ad supradictas provincias portantes litteras cardinalium cum regula bulla apostolica confirmata. 5Quae omnia praedicti praelati videntes, et exhibita fratribus testimonia cognoscentes, aedificare, habitare et praedicare in suis provinciis liberaliter concesserunt.

6Sic itaque morantibus et praedicantibus fratribus in illis provinciis, multi videntes eorum humilem et sanctam conversationem, atque audientes eorum verba dulcissima moventia et inflammantia mentes ad amorem Dei et ad poenitentiam faciendam,

Francis of Assisi: Early Documents, vol. 2, p. 106