A Mirror of the Perfection (The Sabatier Edition, 1928) - 290 

after blessed Dominic accepted blessed Francis’s cord out of a pas- sionate love, he girded himself with it underneath his inner tunic, and from that time on he wore it devoutly. Finally one placed his hands in those of the other, and one most sweetly commended him- self to the other in a shared commitment. And so blessed Dominic said to Saint Francis: “Brother Francis, I wish your religion and mine might become one, so we could share the same form of life in the Church.”

At last, when they had parted from each other, blessed Dominic said to the many bystanders: “In truth I tell you, the other religious should imitate this holy man Francis, as his holiness is so perfect.”a

44
HOW HE WANTED ALL THE BROTHERS TO SERVE LEPERS AS A FOUNDATION FOR HUMILITY

From the beginning of his conversion blessed Francis, with the Lord’s help, like a wise builder, established himself upon solid rock, that is the greatest humility and poverty of the Son of God, calling his religion “Lesser Brothers” because of great humility.

At the beginning of the religion, he wanted the brothers to stay in hospitals of lepers to serve them, laying the foundation of holy humility in this way. Whenever nobles and commoners came to the Order, they were told, among other things, that they had to serve the lepers humbly and stay in their houses, as it was prescribed in the first rule.

They did not desire to have anything under heaven, except holy poverty, by which, in this world, they are nourished by the Lord with bodily and spiritual food, and, in the next, will attain a heavenly inheritance.

He laid the foundation both for himself and for others on the greatest humility and poverty, because, although he was a great prel- ate in the church of God, he wanted and chose to be lowly not only in the church, but also among his brothers. In his opinion and desire, this lowliness was to be the most sublime exaltation in the sight of God and of the people.

 Previous

Next 

 

Speculum Perfectionis, Fontes Franciscani, p. 1914-1915


13Tandem alter posuit manus suas inter manus alterius, et alter alteri se mutua recommendatione dulcissime commendavit. Dixitque sanctus Dominicus sancto Francisco: « Vellem, frater Francisce, unam religionem fieri tuam et meam, et nos in Ecclesia vivere pari forma ».

14Demum, cum se ab invicem separabant, dixit beatus Dominicus pluribus qui adstabant: «In veritate dico vobis quod hunc sanctum virum Franciscum omnes religiosi deberent imitari, tanta est sanctitatis ejus perfectio ».

Quod pro fundamento humilitatis voluit omnes fratres servire leprosis. Caput 44.

1Beatus Franciscus a principio suae conversionis, Domino cooperante a, velut sapiens aedificator seipsum supra firmam petram fundavit, 2id est supra maximam humilitatem et paupertatem filii Dei, appellans religionem suam fratrum Minorum propter maximam humilitatem.

3Unde in principio religionis, voluit quod fratres manerent in hospitalibus leprosorum ad serviendum eis, ibique sanctae humilitatis facerent fundamentum . 4Nam quando veniebant ad ordinem nobiles et ignobiles, inter alia quae nuntiabantur eis, dicebatur quod oportebat eos humiliter servire leprosis et manere in domibus eorum, sicut in prima regula continetur. 5Nihil sub caelo habere volentes nisi sanctam paupertatem per quam nutriuntur a Domino in hoc saeculo cibis corporalibus et spiritualibus et in futuro caelestem consequentur hereditatem. 6Sicque seipsum pro se et pro aliis fundavit supra maximam humilitatem et paupertatem; quia, cum esset magnus praelatus in Ecclesia Dei, elegit et voluit esse abjectus, non solum in Ecclesia sed etiam inter fratres suos, 7licet haec abjectio in opinione et desiderio ipsius esset maxima exaltatio ejus in conspectu Dei et hominum.

Francis of Assisi: Early Documents, vol. 3, p. 290