A Mirror of the Perfection (The Sabatier Edition, 1928) - 283 

And that is why the general minister and his guardian ordered him not to give his tunic to any brother without their permission. Because the brothers, out of the devotion they had for him, would occasionally ask him for his tunic, and he would immediately give it to them. He would at times cut his habit in half, giving one part to him and keeping the other for himself, because he wore only one tunic.

34
HOW HE GAVE HIS TUNIC TO BROTHERS
SEEKING IT FOR THE LOVE OF GOD

Once when he was traveling through a certain region preaching, two brothers from France happened to meet him. From this they enjoyed great consolation. Finally, for the love of God they asked him for his tunic. As soon as he heard "the love of God," he immediately took off his tunic and gave it to them, remaining naked for almost an hour.

When asked for his cord or tunic or anything else for the love of God, he never refused anyone. Furthermore, he would be greatly displeased, and would frequently reprimand the brothers when he heard them invoking the love of God needlessly. For he would say: "The love of God is so very exalted and so precious that it should be mentioned with great reverence rarely and only in dire necessity." Then one of the brothers took off his tunic and gave it to him.

Similarly he endured great need and hardship when he gave away his tunic or a part of it to someone, because he could not quickly find or have another one made. This was true especially since he always wished to wear a poor tunic patched at times inside and out. Because he rarely, if ever, wanted to have or wear a tunic made from new cloth, but would acquire one worn by a brother for some time. Sometimes he would accept one part of his tunic from one brother and another part from another. But, because of his many illnesses and chills of the stomach and spleen, he would occasionally patch it on the inside with new cloth.

He held and observed this kind of poverty in his clothing until the year when he returned to the Lord. For a few days before his death, because he was suffering from dropsy and almost completely dehydrated and weakened by many of the other sicknesses he had, the brothers made several tunics for him, so that they could change his tunic night and day as was necessary.

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Speculum Perfectionis, Fontes Franciscani, p. 1902-1903


11Et propter hoc generalis minister et guardianus ejus praeceperant ei ut nulli fratri tunicam suam daret sine eorum licentia. 12Nam fratres propter devotionem aliquando petebant sibi tunicam, et ipse statim, dabat eis; aliquando autem dividebat eam, et partem dabat et partem sibi retinebat, quia non portabat nisi unam tunicam.

Qualiter dedit tunicam fratribus petentibus eam amore Dei. Caput 34.

1Unde, quodam tempore, dum iret per quamdam provinciam praedicando, obviaverunt ei duo fratres Francigenae; qui, cum habuissent de ipso magnam consolationem, finaliter petierunt ei tunicam suam, amore Dei. 2Ipse autem statim ut audivit amore Dei, exuit se tunicam, et dedit eis, manens nudus per aliquam horam.

3Nam cum sibi allegabatur amore Dei, sive corda, sive tunica, sive aliquid aliud peteretur, nunquam alicui denegabat; immo displicebat sibi valde, et saepe arguebat fratres, cum audiret eos pro qualicumque re amore Dei inutiliter nominare. 4Dicebat enim: « Tam altissimus et pretiosissimus est amor Dei quod nunquam deberet, nisi raro et in magna necessitate, cum multa reverentia, nominari ». 5Unus autem ex illis fratribus exuit se tunicam suam et dedit ei.

6Similiter cum dabat tunicam vel partem ejus alicui, sustinebat inde magnam necessitatem et tribulationem, quoniam non poterat tam cito habere vel facere fieri aliam, 7maxime quia semper volebat habere pauperculam tunicam, de petiis repetiatam, quandoque intus et foris; immo nunquam aut raro volebat portare tunicam de novo panno; sed acquirebat ab aliquo fratre tunicam eius, quam ille portaverat per aliquod tempus. 8Et etiam quandoque accipiebat ab uno fratre partem tunicae suae et ab alio alteram partem. Interius vero, propter suas multas infirmitates et frigiditates stomachi et splenis, aliquando repetiabat eam de panno novo.

9Et hunc modum paupertatis in vestimentis suis tenuit et observavit usque ad illum annum quo migravit ad Dominum; 10nam paucis diebus ante obitum suum , quia erat hydropicus et quasi totus desiccatus, et propter alias plures infirmitates quas habebat, fecerunt ei fratres plures tunicas, ut propter necessitatem die noctuque tunica mutaretur.

Francis of Assisi: Early Documents, vol. 3, p. 283