The Remembrance of the Desire of a Soul - 348 

Chapter CXVI

156 So also, anyone who violated sacred religion by evil deeds or bad example incurred the heavy penalty of his curse.

One day he was told how the bishop of Fondia had told two brothers who came to him who, under the pretext of greater self-contempt, let their beards grow longer: "Watch out that the beauty of your religion is not disfigured by this bold search for novelties." At this the saint immediately got up, stretched out his hands to heaven, his face streaming with tears, broke out into words of prayer, or rather a curse:

"Lord Jesus Christ, you chose twelve Apostles, though one fell, the rest clung to you, and filled with one Spirit, preached the Holy Gospel.

"You, Lord, in this last hour, remembering your ancient mercies, have planted the religion of the brothers as a support for your faith, and that the mystery of your Gospel through them might be fulfilled. Who, then, will make satisfaction for them before you, if they not only fail to show examples of Light to all, but, rather, display works of darkness?

"By you, most holy Lord, and by the whole court of Heaven, and by me, your little one, may they be cursed who break up and destroy by their bad example what you earlier built up, and do not cease to build up, through holy brothers of this religion!"

Where are they now, those who proclaim themselves happy because of his blessing, and boast about having been as close to him as they wished? If, God forbid, they should be found without repentance showing in themselves works of darkness endangering others, woe to them! Woe of eternal damnation!"b

157 He used to say: "The best brothers are confounded by the deeds of the bad ones; they bear being judged by the example of the wicked, although they themselves have not sinned. They are stabbing me with a sharp sword, twisting it in my bowels all day long." It was principally because of this that he withdrew from the company of the




Francis of Assisi: Early Documents, vol. 2, p. 348