The Remembrance of the Desire of a Soul - 247 

seen.a It was so powerful it made him consider earthly things unimportant and utterly worthless.

What amazing generosity of Christ!
To those who do small things
He gives the greatest gifts. 2 Pt 1:4
In the flood of many waters Ps 32:6 [Vulgate, Ps 31:6]
He saves and lifts up His own.
Christ feeds the crowds with loaves and fishes
and does not drive away sinners from his table.
When they seek to make him king ,
He flees and goes up the mountain to pray.
These are mysteries of God toward which Francis reaches,
and he is lead to unknowingly perfect knowledge.

Chapter IV
HOW HE DRESSED IN POOR GARMENTS AND ATE WITH THE POOR
IN FRONT OF THE CHURCH OF SAINT PETER,
AND THE GIFT HE OFFERED THERE

8 Already he was an outstanding lover of the poor
and his sacred beginning gave a glimpse
of what would be fulfilled in the future.
He often stripped himself to clothe the poor.
Although he had not yet made himself one of them
he strove to be like them with his whole heart.

Once on pilgrimage to Rome, out of love for poverty he took off his fine clothing and dressed himself in a poor man’s clothes. He happily settled among the poor in the square in front of the church of Saint Peter, a place where the poor are abundant. Considering himself one of them, he eagerly ate with them. If his embarrassed friends had not restrained him, he would have done this many times.

When he approached the altar of the Prince of the Apostles, he was surprised that people gave such small gifts. He threw in a whole handful of money, showing that the one God honored above others should be honored by all in a special way.

Showing due honor, he often gave liturgical vestments to poor priests, even to those of the lowest rank.

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Vita Secunda Sancti Francisci, Fontes Franciscani, p. 449-450


ipsum ad invisibilia raptans, cuius virtute terrena omnia nullius esse momenti sed penitus frivola iudicavit.

11Stupenda revera Christi dignatio,
quae agentibus
infima maxima donat,
et in diluvio aquarum multarum
quae sua sunt servat et promovet.
12Pavit enim Christus panibus et piscibus turbas,
nec repulit a suo prandio peccatores.
13Quaesitus ab eis in regem,
iniit fugam et montem oraturus ascendit.
14Mysteria sunt Dei, quae Franciscus assequitur,
et ad perfectam scientiam etiam ignorans adducitur.

Caput IV
Qualiter pauperis vestimentis indutus
ante ecclesiam Sancti Petri cum pauperibus manducavit,
et de oblatione quam ibidem obtulit.

8 1Sed iam pauperum amator exsistit praecipuus,
iam id quod perfecte futurus erat,
sacra spirabant initia.
2Frequenter proinde exuens semetipsum pauperes induit,
quibus se similem fieri nondum
operis exsecutione sed toto iam corde contendit.

3Cum tempore quodam Romam peregrinaturus adiret, paupertatis amore vestimenta delicata deposuit, et cuiusdam pauperis vestimentis obtectus, in paradiso ante ecclesiam Sancti Petri, qui locus ferax est pauperum, inter pauperes laetanter resedit, et velut unum ex ipsis se reputans, avide cum eis manducat . 4Multoties fecisset consimile, nisi notorum fuisset verecundia impeditus.

5Miratus, cum ad altare principis Apostolorum accederet, tam modicas oblationes ibidem ab adventatibus fieri, plena manu pecuniam iactat in loco, honorandum ab omnibus specialius indicans quem Deus supra caeteros honoravit.

6Pauperculis etiam sacerdotibus ecclesiastica ornamenta pluries exhibebat, usque ad inferiorem gradum omnibus debitum honorem impendens.

Francis of Assisi: Early Documents, vol. 2, p. 247