A Mirror of the Perfection (The Sabatier Edition, 1928) - 285 

joy, he took it off his back and gave it to the poor man. It then seemed to him that, at that moment, the Lord immediately had infused new grace into his heart because he had given the poor man his mantle with joy. So he was received by blessed Francis and constantly progressed in virtue to a very great state of perfection.

37
THE PENANCE HE IMPOSED ON A BROTHER WHO JUDGED A POOR MAN HARSHLY

When blessed Francis went to a place of the brothersa near Rocca di Brizio to preach, it happened that on the very day that he was to preach, a poor sick man came to him. Feeling great compassion, he began to speak to his companion about the man’s poverty and illness. “It is true, brother,” his companion said to him, “that he seems poor enough, but perhaps there is no one in the whole province who desires riches more.”

Immediately blessed Francis rebuked him severely and he admit- ted his fault. Blessed Francis told him: “Are you willing to do the penance I will tell you for this?” “Willingly!” he replied. “Go, strip off your tunic,” he said, “throw yourself naked at the feet of the poor man, tell him how you sinned against him, how you slandered him, and ask him to pray for you.”

So he went and did everything blessed Francis had told him. When he finished, he got up, put on his tunic, and returned to blessed Francis. And blessed Francis said to him: “Do you want to know how you sinned against him, and even against Christ?”

And he said: “Whenever you see a poor person you ought to consider Him in whose name he comes, that is, Christ, who came to take on our poverty and weakness. For this man’s poverty and weakness is a mirror for usb in which we should see and consider with piety the poverty and weakness of our Lord Jesus Christ which He endured in His body for our salvation.”

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Speculum Perfectionis, Fontes Franciscani, p. 1905-1906


4 Qui, statim cum magna laetitia tulit illum de dorso suo et dedit pauperi. Et tunc visum fuit sibi quod statim novam gratiam immisisset Dominus in cor ejus, quia cum hilaritate dederat a mantellum pauperi. 5 Sicque receptus a beato Francisco semper usque ad maximam perfectionem virtuose profecit.

De paenitentia quam dedit fratri qui male judicavit quemdam pauperem. Caput 37.

1 Cum beatus Franciscus causa praedicationis ivisset ad quemdam locum fratrum prope Roccam Britii, accidit ut ipsa die qua debebat praedicare, quidam pauper et infirmus veniret ad eum. 2 Cui multum compatiens, coepit dicere socio suo de paupertate et infirmitate ipsius. Et ait illi socius ejus: « Frater, verum est quod iste satis pauper videtur, sed forte in tota provincia non est aliquis voluntate ditior illo ».

3 Et statim reprehensus dure a beato Francisco dixit culpam suam. Et ait ei beatus Franciscus: « Vis de hoc facere paenitentiam quam dicam tibi? ». Qui respondit: « Libenter faciam ». 4 Et dixit ei: « Vade, et exue te tunica tua, et projice te nudum ad pedes a pauperis, et dicas ei quomodo peccasti in ipso detrahendo sibi, et dic ei ut oret pro te ».

5 Ivit ergo ille, et fecit omnia quae dixerat illi beatus Franciscus. Quo facto, surrexit et induit tunicam suam; et reversus est ad beatum Franciscum. 6 Et ait illi beatus Franciscus: « Vis scire quomodo peccasti in illo, immo in Christo? Cum vides pauperem, debes considerare illum in cujus nomine venit, id est Christum, qui nostram paupertatem et infirmitatem assumpsit ; 7 nam infirmitas et paupertas istius est quoddam speculum nobis, per quod speculari et considerare debemus cum pietate infirmitatem et paupertatem Domini nostri Jesu Christi quam in suo corpore pertulit pro salute nostra ».

Francis of Assisi: Early Documents, vol. 3, p. 285