A Collection of Sayings of the Companions of Blessed Francis - 128 

this grace, that he was greatly feared and loved by everyone, a minister told Brother Elias the vicar he should go with him to Saint Francis.

10When they came near the place where Saint Francis was, but on the opposite side, not approaching him, for the place was a short distance, about two miles, from the city of Rieti, Brother Elias shouted: "Sia lodate lo Signore [Praised be the Lord]." At the sound of his voice blessed Francis came out, saw them, and said to Brother Elias: "Why have you come? Did I not command that no one come to me?" To which Brother Elias replied: "Well, all the ministers of Italy have gathered here because they were told that you wish to draw up another rule, and so they say you should make an observable rule, because if it isn't observable, they intend not to bind themselves to such a rule."

13Then Saint Francis cried out with a loud voice: "O Lord, You reply for me." And the Lord replied, in the hearing of all the ministers and Brother Elias, saying: "Francis, I am the one who is making this rule, not you. I do not want you to put in it anything of your own, and I want all the brothers to observe it to the letter." Then Saint Francis said: "Did you hear that, brothers?" So they all went back to their provinces.

15Blessed Francis re-entered the cave and spoke with God, like Moses in the tent or on Mount Sinai, face to face, and [God] said: "Francis, build me a wall between temporal affairs and your brothers." Thus blessed Francis put this in the Rule: "Let the brothers not make anything their own, neither house, nor place, nor anything at all. As pilgrims and strangers in this world, serving the Lord in poverty . . ." It is believed that the Lord ordered the whole Rule. But here I am speaking as he who wrote this, namely Leo. It is this Rule, dear [brothers], that we have professed, and in which we ought to advance, that is, to observe it without glosses. Thus did our holy father Saint Francis command, as he said in his most holy Testament: "I strictly command all my cleric and lay brothers, through obedience, not to place any gloss upon the Rule or upon these words . . . but as the Lord has given me . . ." The Rule was composed in the place called "Palumma," a near Rieti, and there the brothers dwell.




Francis of Assisi: Early Documents, vol. 3, p. 128