A Mirror of the Perfection (The Sabatier Edition, 1928) - 284 


Another time a poor man came to the place where blessed Francis was staying, and, for the love of God, asked for a piece of cloth from the brothers. On hearing this, blessed Francis told one of the brothers: “Look around the house and, if you can, find a piece of cloth and to give it to the poor man.” And going around the whole house, that brother told him that he did not find any. So that the poor man would not go away empty-handed, blessed Francis went out secretly, so that his guardian would not forbid him. He took a knife, and sitting in a hidden place, he began to cut away a piece of his tunic, which was sewed on the inside of the tunic, wanting to give it to the poor man secretly. But the guardian becoming aware of this went to him and forbade him to give it away, especially since the weather was then very cold, and he was extremely sick and cold.

Blessed Francis therefore told him: “If you do not want me to give him this piece of cloth, you must, by all means, make sure that some piece is given to the poor brother.” And so, at the prompting of blessed Francis, the brothers gave the poor man some cloth from their own clothes.

When he traveled through the country preaching, he went on foot or, after he became ill, astride a donkey, because otherwise he did not want to ride on a horse unless compelled by the greatest necessity. And such was the case shortly before his death. If any brother lent him a mantle, he did not want to accept it unless, in some way, he could give it to any poor person he might meet or who might approach him, if his spirit convinced him that the person was in more evident need.



At the beginning of the religion, when he was staying at Rivo Torto with only two brothers whom he had at that time, the third brother, a man named Giles,a came to him from the world to receive his life. When he had stayed there for a few days, still wearing his secular clothes, a poor man happened to come to the place asking alms of blessed Francis. Turning to Giles, blessed Francis said to him: “Give the poor brother your mantle.” Immediately, with great




Speculum Perfectionis, Fontes Franciscani, p. 1904-1905

Qualiter voluit occulte dare pauperi petiam. Caput 35.

1Alia vice venit quidam pauper ad locum ubi erat beatus Franciscus, et petiit a fratribus, amore Dei, aliquam petiam panni. 2Quod audiens, beatus Franciscus dixit cuidam fratri: « Quaeras per domum, si potes invenire aliquam petiam vel pannum, et da illi pauperi ». Et circuiens totam domum frater ille dixit se non invenire. 3Ut autem non reverteretur vacuus pauper a ille, ivit beatus Franciscus, occulte propter guardianum, ne prohiberet ei ; 4et tulit cultellum, et, sedens in loco secreto, coepit tollere quamdam petiam tunicae suae quae erat interius suta, volens dare ipsam illi pauperi occulte. 5Sed guardianus hoc sentiens, statim ivit ad eum, et prohibuit ut non daret; maxime quia tunc erat magnum frigus et ipse infirmus et frigidus erat valde.

6Dixit ergo ei beatus Franciscus: « Si vis ut non dem illi petiam istam, oportet omnino ut aliquam petiam facias dari fratri pauperi ». Et sic fratres illi dederunt pauperi aliquem pannum de indumentis suis occasione beati Francisci.

7Cum enim iret per mundum praedicando, sive pedes, sive in asino, postquam coepit infirmari, vel in equo in maxima et strictissima necessitate, quia aliter noluit equitare, et hoc parum ante obitum suum, 8si aliquis frater accommodabat sibi aliquem mantellum, nolebat illum accipere, nisi tali modo quod posset ipsum dare cuicumque pauperculo obvianti sibi vel venienti ad eum, dummodo spiritus ejus testimonium perhiberet b ei quod necessarius esset illi.

Qualiter dixit fratri Aegidio, priusquam esset receptus, ut daret mantellum suum cuidam pauperi. Caput 36.

1In primordio religionis cum maneret apud Rivum Tortum cum duobus fratribus quos tantum tunc habebat, ecce quidam, nomine Aegidius, qui fuit tertius frater, venit de saeculo ad ipsum ut reciperet vitam ejus. 2Cumque sic maneret ibidem per aliquos dies, indutus pannis quos de saeculo apportaverat, accidit quod quidam pauper veniret ad locum illum, petens eleemosynam a beato Francisco. 3Conversus beatus Franciscus ad illum Aegidium, dixit ei: « Da fratri pauperi mantellum tuum ». 4Qui, statim cum magna laetitia tulit illum de dorso suo et dedit pauperi.

Francis of Assisi: Early Documents, vol. 3, p. 284