A Mirror of the Perfection (The Sabatier Edition, 1928) - 256 

but he complied with their wish, although not willingly, and excused himself before the Lord. But, that the word of the Lord, which He put in his mouth for the good of the brothers, would not return to the Lord empty, he wanted to fulfill it in himself, so that he might then obtain a reward from the Lord. And, at last, he found peace in this and his spirit was comforted. Acts 9:31


At the time when he returned from overseas,a a minister spoke with him about the chapter on poverty. He wanted to know his will and understanding, especially since at the time a chapter had been written in the Rule from prohibitions of the holy Gospel: Take nothing with you on the journey, etc.

And blessed Francis answered him: "I understand it in this way, that the brothers should have nothing except a tunic with a cord and underwear, as contained in the Rule, and those compelled by necessity, may wear shoes." And the minister said to him: "What shall I do, for I have so many books worth more than fifty pounds?"

He said this because he wanted to hold on to them with a clear conscience, especially because he had a disturbed conscience since he had so many books, and knew how strictly blessed Francis interpreted the chapter on poverty.

Blessed Francis said to him, "I do not wish, I cannot and must not go against my own conscience and the perfection of the holy Gospel which we have professed."b Hearing this, the minister became sad. Seeing him disturbed, blessed Francis said to him with great intensity of spirit, intending this for all the brothers: "You, Lesser Brothers, want to be seen as and called observers of the holy Gospel, but in your deeds you want to have money bags."

Although the ministers knew that, according to the Rule of the brothers they were bound to observe the holy Gospel, they nonetheless had that chapter of the Rule where it says "Take nothing for your




Speculum Perfectionis, Fontes Franciscani, p. 1852-1853

sed condescendebat invitus voluntati eorum et coram Domino se excusabat. 10Sed, ut non reverteretur ad Dominum vacuum verbum suum quod in ore ejus ponebat pro utilitate fratrum, volebat illud in se implere, ut mercedem inde consequeretur a Domino. Et finaliter in hoc quiescebat et consolabatur spiritus ejus.

Qualiter respondit ministro volenti
habere libros de licentia ejus,
et qualiter ministri, ipso ignorante,
fecerunt removeri de regula
capitulum de prohibitionibus evangelii.
Caput 3.

1Quodam autem tempore, quando beatus Franciscus reversus fuit de ultra marinis partibus, quidam minister loquebatur secum de capitulo paupertatis, volens inde cognoscere suam voluntatem et intellectum; 2maxime quia tunc erat scriptum in regula quoddam capitulum de prohibitionibus sancti evangelii, videlicet: Nihil tuleritis in via. etc.

3Et respondit ei beatus Franciscus: « Ego sic intelligo quod fratres nihil debeant habere nisi vestimentum cum corda et femoralibus, sicut dicit regula. Et qui necessitate coguntur possint portare calciamenta ». 4Et dixit ad eum minister: « Quid faciam ego qui tot libros habeo, qui valent ultra quinquaginta libras? ».

Hoc autem dixit quia volebat eos habere de conscientia sua, quia cum reprehensione conscientiae habebat tot libros, sciens beatum Franciscum ita stricte intelligere capitulum paupertatis.

5Et ait illi beatus Franciscus: « Nec volo, nec debeo, nec possum venire contra conscientiam meam et professionem sancti evangelii quam professi sumus ». Audiens haec minister effectus est tristis. 6Videns autem beatus Franciscus ipsum ita turbatum, cum magno fervore spiritus dixit ei in persona omnium fratrum: « Vos vultis videri ab hominibus fratres Minores et vocari observatores sancti evangelii, operibus autem vultis habere loculos! ».

7Verumtamen licet ministri scirent quod secundum regulam fratres tenerentur sanctum evangelium observare, nihilominus fecerunt removeri de regula illud capitulum ubi dicitur: « Nihil tuleritis in via », etc.,

Francis of Assisi: Early Documents, vol. 3, p. 256