A Mirror of the Perfection (The Sabatier Edition, 1928) - 259 

Whenever brothers came to him to ask advice about such things, he would give them the same answer. For this reason he used to say: "A person is only as learned as his actions show; and a religious is only as good a preacher as his actions show;" for a good tree is known only by its fruit."


The most blessed father used to teach the brothers that in books the testimony of the Lord, not value, should be sought, edification rather than elegance. He wanted few books kept and in common, and these should be available to the brothers who needed them.

Beds and coverings abounded in such plentiful poverty, that if a brother had a ragged sheet over some straw, he considered it a bridal couch.

Moreover, he taught his brothers to make poor little dwellings out of wood, and not stone, and he wanted them built and constructed according to a crude sketch.

And he not only hated pretense in houses; he also abhorred having many or fine furnishings in them. He disliked anything, in tables or dishes, which seemed worldly, so that everything would shout of poverty, would sing of exile and pilgrimage.


Passing through Bologna he heard that a house of the brothers had recently been built there. As soon as he heard that it was called "the house of the brothers," he turned back and left the city. He firmly commanded that all the brothers leave it quickly and not to live there anymore.

Accordingly all of them vacated the house. Not even the sick brothers could stay there, but were evicted together with the others, until the Lord Hugo, the bishop of Ostia and the papal legate in Lombardy, announced publicly that the house belonged to him.




Speculum Perfectionis, Fontes Franciscani, p. 1857-1858

20Unde quotquot fratres veniebant ad ipsum pro habendo consilio ejus super hujusmodi hoc modo respondebat eisdem. 21Quapropter saepe dicebat: « Tantum habet homo de scientia quantum operatur, et tantum est religiosus bonus orator quantum ipse operatur; nam arbor tantum ex fructu cognoscitur ».

De paupertate servanda in libris et lectis, aedificiis et utensilibus.
Caput 5.

1Docebat fratres beatissimus pater in libris testimonium Domini quaerere non pretium, aedificationem non pulchritudinem. Paucos haberi volebat et in communi, eosq ue ad fratrum indigentium necessitatem esse paratos.

2In stratis et lectis ita abundabat copiosa paupertas ut qui super paleis haberet panniculos semisanos pro thalamo reputaret.

3Docebat insuper fratres suos habitacula paupercula facere et casellas ligneas, non lapideas, easque vili schemate construi et aedificari volebat. Et non solum domorum arrogantiam odiebat, verum etiam utensilia multa vel exquisita plurimum perhorrebat.

4Nihil in mensis, nihil in vasis quod mundanum videretur et quo mundi recordaretur amabat, ut omnia paupertatem clamarent, omnia peregrinationem et exsilium decantarent.

Qualiter fecit exire omnes fratres de quadam domo
quae dicebatur esse domus fratrum.
Caput 6.

1Transiens autem per Bononiam, audivit domum fratrum noviter ibi esse constructam. Qui, statim ut audivit quod domus illa dicebatur esse fratrum, gressum vertit et de civitate exivit, atque mandavit districte quod omnes fratres exirent festinanter, et ibi nullatenus habitarent.

2Exierunt ergo omnes, ita ut etiam infirmi non remanerent ibidem, sed cum aliis sunt ejecti; donec dominus Hugo, Ostiensis episcopus et legatus in Lombardia, praedictam domum esse suam publice praedicavit.

Francis of Assisi: Early Documents, vol. 3, p. 259