The Life of Blessed Francis - 553 

5 After this,
under the guidance of heavenly grace,
the shepherd Francis led
the little flock Lk 12:32 of those twelve brothers
to St. Mary of the Portiuncula,
that where the Order of Lesser Brothers had had its beginning
by the merits of the mother of God,
it might also begin to grow with her assistance.
There, also,
having become a herald of the Gospel,
he went about the cities and towns
proclaiming the kingdom of God
not in words taught by human wisdom,
but in the power of the Spirit.
To those who saw him,
he seemed to be a person of another age as,
with his mind and face always intent on heaven,a
he tried to draw them all on high.
As a result,
the vineyard of Christ began
to produce buds with the sweet smell of the Lord
and, when it had produced
flowers of sweetness, of honor, and of respectability, Sir 24:23
to bring forth abundant fruit.

6 For set on fire by the fervor of his preaching, a great number of people bound themselves by new laws of penance according to the rule which they received from the man of God. Christ's servant decided to name this way of life the Order of the Brothers of Penance. As the road of penance is common to all who are striving toward heaven, so this way of life admits clerics and lay, virgins and married of both sexes. How meritorious it is before God is clear from the numerous miracles performed by some of its members.

Virgins, too, were drawn
to perpetual celibacy,
among whom was the virgin
especially dear to God,




Legenda Maior, Fontes Franciscani, p. 806-807

5 1Post haec
pusilli gregis pastor Franciscus
ad Sanctam Mariam de Portiuncula
duodenarium illum fratrum,
superna gratia praeeunte, deduxit,
ut ubi meritis Matris Dei
Minorum sumpserat Ordo initium,
ipsius illie susciperet auxiliis incrementum.
2Ibi quoque
factus evangelicus praeco,
civitates circuibat et castra,
non in doctis humanae sapientiae verbis,
sed in virtute Spiritus
annuntians regnum Dei.
3Videbatur intuentibus
homo alterius saeculi,
quippe qui mente ac facie in caelum semper intentus,
omnes sursum trahere conaretur.
4Coepit ex hoc
Christi vinea
germinare germen odoris Domini,
et productis ex se
floribus suavitatis, honoris et honestatis,
uberes fructus afferre.

6 1Nam praedicationis ipsius fervore succensi, quam plurimi secundum formam a Dei viro acceptam novis se poenitentiae legibus vinciebant, quorum vivendi modum idem Christi famulus Ordinem Fratrum de poenitentia nominari decrevit. 2Nimirum, sicut in caelum tendentibus poenitentiae viam omnibus constat esse communem, sic et hic status clericos et laicos, virgines et coniugatos in utroque sexu admittens, quanti sit apud Deum meriti, ex pluribus per aliquos ipsorum patratis miraculis innotescit.

3Convertebantur etiam virgines
ad perpetuum coelibatum,
inter quas virgo
Deo carissima

Francis of Assisi: Early Documents, vol. 2, p. 553