A Mirror of the Perfection (The Sabatier Edition, 1928) - 257 

journey, etc." removed, believing, because of this, that they were not obliged to observance of the perfection of the Gospel.

Knowing this through the light of the Holy Spirit, blessed Francis said in the presence of some brothers: "The brother ministers think they can deceive God and me." Then he said:" Indeed, that all the brothers may know that they are bound to observe the perfection of the holy Gospel, I want it written at the beginning and at the end of the Rule that the brothers are strictly bound to observe the holy Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. And that the brothers may always be without an excuse before God, since I proclaim and still proclaim, I want to show with these deeds and always observe, with God's help, what God has placed in my mouth for my and their welfare."

Therefore, he observed the entire holy Gospel to the letter from the day he began to have brothers until the day of his death.


Another time, there was once a brother novice who could read the psalter, although not very well, and he obtained permission from the general minister to have it. But because he had heard that blessed Francis did not want his brothers to be desirous of learning and books, he was not content to have it without the permission of blessed Francis.

When blessed Francis came to the place where that novice was living, therefore, the novice said to him: "Father, it would be a great consolation for me to have a psalter. But, although the general minister has given me permission to have it, I still want to have it with your knowledge."

Blessed Francis answered him: "The Emperor Charles, Roland, and Oliver, and all the paladins and valiant knights who were mighty in battle, pursuing unbelievers with great toil and fatigue even to death, had a memorable victory for themselves, and, finally, died in battle fighting as holy martyrs for the faith in Christ.a And now there are many who want to receive honor and praise by only relating what they did. Thus there are many among us who want to receive honor and praise by recounting and preaching about them. As if he were saying: We must not care about books and learning,




Speculum Perfectionis, Fontes Franciscani, p. 1853-1855

« Nihil tuleritis in via », etc., credentes se propter hoc non teneri ad observantiam perfectionis evangelii.

8Quapropter beatus Franciscus cognoscens hoc per Spiritum sanctum, coram quibusdam fratribus dixit: « Putant fratres ministri Deum et me decipere. Immo, ut sciant omnes fratres se teneri ad observandam perfectionem sancti evangelii, volo quod in principio et in fine regulae sit scriptum quod fratres teneantur sanctum evangelium Domini nostri Jesu Christi firmiter observare. 9Et ut fratres sint semper inexcusabiIes ex quo ipsis annuntiavi et annuntio ea quae Dominus pro salute mea et sua posuit in ore meo, volo ipsa operibus ostendere coram Deo et, ipso cooperante, in perpetuum observare ».

10Unde ipse ad litteram observavit totum sanctum evangelium, a principio ex quo coepit habere fratres usque ad diem mortis suae.

De novitio volente habere psalterium de licentia ejus.
Caput 4.

1Alio quoque tempore quidam frater novitius qui sciebat legere psalterium, licet non bene, obtinuit a generali ministro licentiam habendi ipsum. 2Sed quia audiverat quod beatus Franciscus nolebat fratres suos esse cupidos de scientia et libris, non contentabatur illud habere sine licentia beati Francisci.

3Cum ergo venisset beatus Franciscus ad locum ubi erat ille novitius, dixit ei novitius: « Pater, mihi esset magna consolatio habere psalterium; sed licet generalis minister illud mihi concesserit, tamen vellem ipsum habere de conscientia tua ».

4Cui beatus Franciscus respondit: « Carolus imperator, Orlandus et Oliverius et omnes palatini et robusti viri qui potentes fuerunt in proelio, persequendo Infideles cum multo sudore et labore usque ad mortem, habuerunt de illis victoriam memorialem; 5et ad ultimum ipsi sancti martyres sunt mortui pro fide Christi in certamine; nunc autem multi sunt qui ex sola narratione eorum quae illi fecerunt volunt recipere honorem et humanam laudem. 6Ita, et inter nos sunt multi qui solum recitando et praedicando opera quae sancti fecerunt volunt recipere honorem et laudem ». 7Ac si diceret: « Non est curandum de libris et scientia

Francis of Assisi: Early Documents, vol. 3, p. 257