A Mirror of the Perfection (The Sabatier Edition, 1928) - 291 


When he had preached to the people of Terni in the city piazza, the bishop of that city, a discerning and spiritual man, immediately stood up at the end of the sermon and said to the people: “From the beginning, when the Lord planted and built His church, He always beautified it with holy men who would improve it by word and example. Now, in this final hour, God has beautified his Church with Francis, this little poor man, lowly and unlettered. And because of this," he continued, “you should love and honor the Lord and avoid sin for He has not dealt thus with any other nation."

When he had finished speaking, the bishop came down from the place where he had preached, and entered the bishop"s church. Then blessed Francis approached him, bowed down before him and, pros- trating himself at his feet, Acts 10:25 said to him: “I tell you the truth, my Lord Bishop: no person in this world has yet honored me as much as you have today. Other people say: 'That man is a saint!' They attribute glory and holiness to me, not to the Creator. You, however, like a dis- cerning man, have separated what is precious from what is vile."

When blessed Francis was praised and called a saint, he would respond to such expressions by saying: “I"m still not sure that I won"t have sons and daughters. If at any moment the Lord wanted to take back the treasure He has entrusted to me, what would be left except just body and soul, which even non-believers have? I must believe, rather, that if the Lord had granted a thief and even a non-believer as many gifts as He has given me, they would be more faithful to the Lord than I.

“For, as in a painting of the Lord and the Blessed Virgin on wood, it is the Lord and the Blessed Virgin who are honored, while the wood and the paint attribute nothing to themselves. In the same way, a servant of God is a painting of God, in whom God is honored because of His goodness. But he must not attribute anything to him- self, because, in comparison with God, he is less than wood and paint. Indeed, he is nothing at all. Therefore, honor and glory 1 Tm 1:17 Rv 5:13 should be given to God alone, and while he lives amid the miseries of the world he should attribute to himself only shame and trouble."




Speculum Perfectionis, Fontes Franciscani, p. 1916-1917

Quod de omnibus bonis verbis et operibus suis volebat soli Deo attribui gloriam et honorem. Caput 45.

1Cum praedicasset populo Interamnae, in platea civitatis, statim finita praedicatione, surrexit episcopus civitatis ejusdem, vir utique discretus et spiritualis; 2et ait ad populum: « Dominus ab initio ex quo plantavit et aedificavit ecclesiam suam, semper illustravit eam sanctis viris, qui eam verbo et exemplo excolerent; 3nunc autem in hac novissima hora a illustravit eam isto pauperculo et despecto ac illiterato homine, Francisco. 4Propter quod tenemini ex hoc Dominum diligere et honorare, et cavere vobis a peccatis; non enim fecit taliter omni nationi ».

5Iis verbis finitis, descendit episcopus de loco ubi praedicaverat et intravit ecclesiam episcopatus. Ad quem accedens beatus Franciscus, inclinavit se coram eo, procidens ad pedes ipsius; 6et ait: « In veritate dico vobis, domine Episcope, quod nullus homo fecit mihi unquam tantum honorem in hoc saeculo quantum fecistis mihi hodie; 7nam alii homines dicunt: Iste est sanctus homo, attribuentes mihi gloriam et sanctitatem, et non Creatori, sed vos tanquam discretus separastis pretiosum a vili ».

8Cum enim beatus Franciscus laudaretur et diceretur sanctus, talibus sermonibus respondebat, discens: « Non sum adhuc securus quod non debeam habere filios et filias; 9nam, quacumque hora Dominus auferret mihi thesaurum suum quem mihi commodavit, quid aliud remaneret mihi nisi corpus et anima, quae etiam infideles habent? 10Immo credere debeo quod si Dominus latroni vel infideli homini tanta bona contulisset quanta et mihi, fideliores essent ipsi Domino quam ego. 11Sicut enim in pictura Domini et beatae Virginis, in ligno depicta, honoratur Dominus et beata Virgo, et tamen lignum et pictura nihil sibi attribuunt, sic servus Dei est quaedam pictura Dei, in qua Deus honoratur propter beneficium suum, 12sed ipse sibi nihil debet attribuere, quia respectu Dei minus est quam lignum et pictura: immo est purum nihil; et ideo soli Deo honor et gloria e est reddenda, sibi autem solummodo verecundia et tribulatio, dum vivit inter miserias hujus mundi ».

Francis of Assisi: Early Documents, vol. 3, p. 291