The Life of Blessed Francis - 555 

rather than where their holiness was recognized
and where they could glory in worldly favor.

Their very poverty
seemed to them overflowing abundance
since, according to the advice of the Wise Man,
a little pleased them
instead of much.

When some of the brothers went to the lands of non-believers, a certain Saracen, moved by piety, once offered them money for the food they needed. When they refused to accept it, the man was amazed, seeing that they were without means. Realizing they did not want to possess money because they had become poor out of love of God, he felt so attracted to them that he offered to minister to all their needs as long as he had something to give.

O ineffable value of poverty,
whose marvelous power moved
the fierce heart of a barbarian
to such sweet pity!
What a horrible and unspeakable crime
that a Christian should trample upon
this noble pearl
which a Saracen held in such veneration!

8 At that time a certain religious of the Order of the Crosiers, Morico by name, was suffering from such a grave and prolonged illness in a hospital near Assisi that the doctors had already despaired of his life. In his need, he turned to the man of God, urgently entreating him through a messenger to intercede for him before the Lord. Our blessed father kindly consented and said a prayer for him. Then he took some bread crumbs and mixed them with oil taken from a lamp that burned before the altar of the Virgin. He made a kind of pill out of them and sent it to the sick man through the hands of the brothers, saying: "Take this medicine to our brother Morico. By means of it, Christ's power will not only restore him to full health, but will make him a sturdy warrior and enlist him in our forces permanently." When the sick man took the medicine, prepared under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, he was cured immediately. God gave him such strength of mind and body that when a little later he entered the holy man's Order, he wore only a single tunic, under which for a long time he wore a hair shirt next to his skin. He was




Legenda Maior, Fontes Franciscani, p. 808-809

quam ubi, cognita sanctitate ipsorum,
mundano possent gloriari favore.

5Ipsa quoque rerum penuria
superabundans eis videbatur ubertas,
dum iuxta consilium Sapientis
pro magno
ipsis minimum complacebat.

6Sane cum ad infidelium partes aliqui ex fratribus pervenissent, contigit, ut quidam Saracenus, pietate commotus, pecuniam eis offerret pro necessario victu; illis autem recusantibus accipere, admiratus est homo, cernens quod inopes essent. 7Intellecto tandem, quod amore Dei pauperes effecti, pecuniam possidere nolebant, tanta est eis affectione coniunctus, ut offerret se ad ministrandum necessaria omnia, quamdiu facultatum sibi aliquid superesset.

8O inaestimabilis pretiositas paupertatis,
cuius miranda virtute
mens feritatis barbaricae
in tantam miserationis est immutata dulcedinem!
9Horrendum proinde ac nefarium scelus,
ut hanc margaritam nobilem
vir christianus conculcet,
quam tanta veneratione extulit Saracenus.

8 1Eo tempore religiosus quidam de Ordinem Cruciferorum, Moricus nomine, in hospitali quodam prope Assisium, languore tam gravi tamque prolixo laborans, ut iam morti foret adiudicatus a medicis, viro Dei supplex factus, per nuntium postulabat instanter, ut pro se ad Dominum intercedere dignaretur. 2Cui beatus pater benigne assentiens, oratione praemissa, panis micas accepit et cum oleo accepto de lampade, quae coram Virginis ardebat altari, commiscens, quasi quoddam electuarium per manus fratrum infirmanti transmisit, 3dicens: « Medicinam hanc fratri nostro deferte Morico, qua ipsum Christi virtus non solum plenae sanitati restituet, verum etiam robustum bellatorem effectum, aciei nostrae perseveranter adiunget ». 4Statim autem, ut antidotum illud sancti Spiritus adinventione confectum aeger homo gustavit, sanus exsurgens, 5tantum mentis et corporis a Deo vigorem obtinuit, ut paulo post viri sancti religionem ingressus, et unica tantum operiretur tunicula, sub qua longo tempore loricam portabat ad carnem,

Francis of Assisi: Early Documents, vol. 2, p. 555