The Remembrance of the Desire of a Soul - 257 

for himself and his followers,
since he could not serve Christ
unless he had something of this world.
Since ancient times, prophetically,
this place was called “the Little Portion,”a
since it was the lot ceded
to those who wished to hold nothing of this world.
In this place
there was a church built for the Virgin Mother,
who by her unique humility
deserved, after her Son, to be the head of all the saints.
It is here the Order of Lesser Ones
had its beginning.
As their numbers increased,
there “a noble structure arose
upon their solid foundation.”
The saint loved this place more than any other.b
He commanded his brothers
to venerate it with special reverence.
He wanted it, like a mirror of the Order,c
always preserved in humility and highest poverty, 2 Cor 8:2
and therefore kept its ownership in the hands of others,
keeping for himself and his brothers only the use of it.d

19 There the most rigid discipline was kept in all things: as much in silence and in labor as in other religious observances.e The entrance there was not open except to specially selected brothers, gathered from every region, whom the saint wanted to be truly devoted to God and perfect in every respect. Similarly, entrance was completely

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Vita Secunda Sancti Francisci, Fontes Franciscani, p. 460-461


portiunculam pro se et suis de mundo elegit
ex quo aliter Christo,
nisi de mundo aliquid haberet,
servire non potuit.
2Non enim sine praescientia
divini oraculi a diebus antiquis
Portiuncula dictus est locus,
qui debebat in illorum cedere sortem
qui de mundo cupiebant penitus nil habere.
3Nam et in eo
Virginis matris ecclesia erat constructa,
quae sua singulari humilitate
meruit post Filium suum caput omnium esse Sanctorum.
4In ea Minorum ordo
principium sumpsit,
ibidem multiplici numero velut
'supra stabile fundamentum
eorum nobilis structura surrexit’.
5Hunc locum sanctus adamavit prae omnibus,
hunc praecepit fratres
speciali reverentia venerari,
hunc velut speculum religionis
in humilitate ac paupertate altissima semper voluit custodiri,
proprietatem ex eo aliis reservans,
sibi et suis retinens usum tantum.

19 1Servabatur ibidem rigidissima in omnibus disciplina, tam in silentio et labore quam caeteris regularibus institutis. 2Nemini, nisi specialiter fratribus deputatis, ibidem patebat ingressus, quos undique aggregatos volebat sanctus esse vere Deo devotos, et ex omni parte perfectos. 3Sic et omni saeculari personae omnis penitus praecludebatur introitus.

Francis of Assisi: Early Documents, vol. 2, p. 257