A Collection of Sayings of the Companions of Blessed Francis - 126 

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Another time,a some of the brothers told blessed Francis: "Father, don't you see that sometimes bishops do not permit us to preach, allowing us to remain idle in an area for many days before we can preach to the people? It would be better if you managed that the brothers get a privilege from the Lord Pope: it would be the salvation of souls."

He answered them with a stern rebuke, telling them: "You, Lesser Brothers, you do not know the will of God, and will not allow me to convert the whole world as God wills. For I want to convert the prelates first by humility and reverence. Then, when they see your holy life and your reverence for them, they will ask you to preach and convert the people. These will attract the people to you far better than the privileges you want, which would lead you to pride. And if you are free of all avarice, and lead the people to give the churches their due, they will ask you to hear the confessions of their people. Although you should not be concerned about this, for if they are converted, they will easily find confessors.

"For my part, I want only this privilege from the Lord: not to have any privilege from any human being, except to show reverence to all, and, by the obedience of the holy Rule, to convert everyone more by example than by word."




Francis of Assisi: Early Documents, vol. 3, p. 126