The Life of Blessed Francis - 543 

2 Through divine prompting the man of God began to become a model of evangelical perfection and to invite others to penance. His statements were neither hollow nor worthy of ridicule, but filled with the power of the Holy Spirit, they penetrated the marrow of the heart, so that they moved those hearing them in stunned amazement. In all his preaching, he announced peace by saying: "May the Lord give you peace." a Thus he greeted the people at the beginning of his talk. As he later testified, he had learned this greeting by the Lord revealing it to him.

Thus it happened that,
filled with the spirit of the prophets
and according to a prophetic passage, Is 52:7
he proclaimed peace,
preached salvation,
and, by counsels of salvation,
brought to true peace
many who had previously lived at odds with Christ
and far from salvation.

3 Therefore
as the truth of the man of God's simple teaching and life
became known to many,
some men began to be moved to penance
and, abandoning all things,
joined him in habit and life.
The first among these was
Bernard, a venerable man,
who was made a sharer in the divine vocation
and merited to be the firstborn son of the blessed Father,b
both in priority of time and in the gift of holiness.

For this man, as he was planning to reject the world perfectly after his example, once he had ascertained for himself the holiness of Christ's servant, sought his advice on how to carry this out. On




Fontes Franciscani, p. 795-796

2 1Coepit ex hoc vir Dei divino instinctu evangelicae perfectionis aemulator existere et ad poenitentiam ceteros invitare. 2Erant autem ipsius eloquia non inania nec risu, digna, sed virtute Spiritus sancti plena; erant medullas cordis penetrantia, ut in vehementem stuporem audientes converterent. 3In omni praedicatione sua pacem annuntians dicendo: « Dominus det vobis Pacem! », populum in sermonis exordio salutabat. 4Hanc quippe salutationem, Domino revelante, didicerat, sicut ipse postmodum testabatur.

5Unde factum est ut
iuxta sermonem propheticum
et ipse spiritu prophetarum afflatus,
annuntiaret pacem,
praedicaret salutem
6ac salutaribus monitis
foederaret plurimos verae paci,
qui discordes a Christo,
prius exstiterant a salute longinqui.

3 1Innotescente
itaque apud multos
viri Dei tam doctrinae simplicis veritate quam vitae,
coeperunt ipsius exemplo viri quidam ad poenitentiam animari et eidem,
reiectis omnibus,
habitu vitaque coniungi;
2quorum primus exstitit
venerabilis vir Bernardus,
qui vocationis divinae particeps factus,
Patris beati primogenitus esse promeruit,
tam prioritate temporis quam privilegio sanctitatis.

3Hic enim, servi Christi sanctitate comperta, ipsius exemplo disponens perfecte contemnere mundum, ab eodem, qualiter id perficeret, consilium requisivit. 4Quo audito,

Francis of Assisi: Early Documents, vol. 2, p. 543