The Remembrance of the Desire of a Soul - 290 

he delights in standing by elegant beds,
especially where necessity does not demand them
and profession forbids them.
On the other hand
the ancient serpent flees from a naked man,
either because he despises the company of the poor
or because he fears the heights of poverty.
If a brother realizes
that the devil is underneath feathers
he will be satisfied with straw under his head.


Chapter XXXV

65 While this true friend of God completely despised all worldly things he detested money above all. From the beginning of his conversion, he despised money particularly and encouraged his followers to flee from it always as from the devil himself. He gave his followers this observation: money and manurea are equally worthy of love.

Now, it happened one day that a layman came to pray in the church of Saint Mary of the Portiuncula, and placed some money by the cross as an offering. When he left, one of the brothers simply picked it up with his hand and threw it on the windowsill.b What the brother had done reached the saint, and he, seeing he had been caught ran to ask forgiveness, threw himself to the ground and offered himself to be whipped. The saint rebuked him and reprimanded him severely for touching coins. He ordered him to pick up the money from the windowsill with his own mouth, take it outside the fence of that place, and with his mouth to put it on the donkey's manure pile. While that brother was gladly carrying out this command, fear filled the hearts of all of those who heard it. From then on, all of them held in even greater contempt what had been so equated with manure and were encouraged to despise it by new examples every day.



Vita Secunda Sancti Francisci, Fontes Franciscani, p. 502-504

lectis pretiosis gaudet assistere,
praesertim ubi necessitas non cogit
et professio contradicit.
16Nec minus
antiquus serpens nudum hominem fugit,
sive spernens contubernium pauperis,
sive pavens altitudinem paupertatis.
17Si attendat frater
plumis subesse diabolum,
contentum erit palea caput suum.

De exemplis contra pecuniam.

Caput XXXV
Dura correctio fratris
qui eam manibus tetigit.

65 1Verum summopere amicus Dei cuncta quae sunt mundi despiciens, super omnia tamen exsecrabatur pecuniam. 2Inde illam a principio suae conversionis praecipue vilipendit, et tamquam ipsum diabolum se sequentibus semper innuit fugiendam. 3Haec ab ipso erat sollertia data suis, ut stercus et pecuniam uno amoris pretio ponderarent.

4Accidit igitur die quadam, ut saecularis quidam ecclesiam Sanctae Mariae de Portiuncula oraturus intraret, qui causa oblationis pecuniam deposuit iuxta crucem . 5Quam, illo recedente, frater unus simpliciter sua manu contingens, in fenestram proiecit. 6Pervenit ad sanctum quod fecerat frater; deprehensum ille se videns, currit ad veniam, et humi prostratus se offert ad verbera. 7Arguit illum sanctus et de pecunia tacta durissime increpat. 8Iubet eum ore proprio de fenestra levare pecuniam, et extra saepta loci ipsam ore suo super stercus ponere asininum. 9Dumque implet iussum frater ille gratanter, timor replet audientium corda cunctorum. 10Contemnunt omnes magis de caetero sic stercori comparatum, et ad contemptum eius novis exemplis quotidie animantur.

Francis of Assisi: Early Documents, vol. 2, p. 290