A Mirror of the Perfection (The Sabatier Edition, 1928) - 292 

46
HOW UNTIL HIS DEATH HE WISHED TO HAVE ONE OF HIS COMPANIONS AS HIS GUARDIAN AND LIVE IN SUBJECTION

Wishing to persevere in perfect humility and subjection until his death, for a long time before his death he said to the general minister: "I ask you to put one of my companions in your place regarding me, so that I may obey him as I would obey you. For obedience is so beneficial that I always want you to be with me in life and death."

From that time until his death, he always had one of his companions as a guardian whom he obeyed in place of the general minister.a One time he said to his companions: "Among other favors, the Lord has given me this grace: I would promptly obey a novice who entered our religion today, if he were appointed my guardian, just as readily as I would obey him who is the first and the eldest in our life and religion. A subject should not consider his prelate, a human being, but God, for love of Whom he is subject to him." He then said: "There is no prelate in the whole world who would be as feared by his subjects and brothers as the Lord would make me feared by my brothers, if I wished. But the Lord gave me this grace: that I want to be content with all, as one who is lesser in the religion."b

We who were with him witnessed this often with our own eyes. Frequently, when some of the brothers did not provide for his needs, or said something to him that would ordinarily offend a person, he would immediately go to prayer. On returning, he did not want to remember anything, and he never said "Brother so-and-so did not provide for me," or "He said such-and-such to me."

Persevering in this way, the closer he approached death, the more careful he became in considering how he might live and die in complete humility and poverty and in the perfection of every virtue.

47
THE PERFECT MANNER OF OBEYING WHICH HE TAUGHT

The most holy father used to say to his brothers: "Dear brothers, do what you are commanded the first time you are told, and do not wait for it to be repeated. Do not pretend that something is

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Speculum Perfectionis, Fontes Franciscani, p. 1917-1919


Quod usque ad mortem voluit habere guardianum unum de sociis suis et vivere in subjectione. Caput 46.

1Volens autem usque ad mortem in perfecta humilitate et subjectione persistere, diu ante mortem suam dixit generali ministro: « Volo ut committas vicem tuam super me uni ex sociis meis cui obediam vice tua; nam propter bonum obedientiae volo quod in vita et in morte semper maneas mecum ».

2Et ex tunc, usque ad mortem, habuit unum de sociis suis guardianum, cui obediebat vice generalis ministri. 3Immo quadam vice dixit sociis suis: « Hanc gratiam inter alias contulit mihi Dominus quod ita diligenter obedirem novitio qui intraret hodie religionem, si esset mihi assignatus pro guardiano, sicut illi qui est primus et antiquus in vita et in religione. 4Subditus enim considerare debet praelatum suum, non ut hominem, sed ut Deum, pro cujus amore subditus est eidem ». 5Postea dixit: « Non est aliquis praelatus in toto mundo qui tantum timeatur a subditis suis quantum Dominus faceret me timeri a fratribus meis, si vellem; sed hanc gratiam contulit mihi Dominus quod volo esse contentus omnibus, sicut qui minor est in religione ».

6Hoc autem vidimus oculis nostris a, nos qui cum ipso fuimus b, sicut etiam ipse testatur, quod cum aliqui fratres non satisfacerent ei in suis necessitatibus, 7vel dicerent sibi aliquod verbum de quo solet homo turbari, statim ibat ad orationem et in reversione sua nolebat de aliquo recordari, nec unquam dicebat: « Talis non satisfecit mihi, vel talis dixit mihi tale verbum ».

8Sicque in hujusmodi perseverans, quanto magis appropinquabat morti, tanto magis erat sollicitus considerare quomodo in omni humilitate et paupertate et omnium virtutum perfectione posset vivere atque mori.

De perfecto modo obediendi quem ipse docebat. Caput 47.

1Dicebat pater sanctissimus fratribus suis: « Fratres carissimi, primo verbo praeceptum implete, nec exspectetis iterari quod dicitur vobis; 2nihil enim impossibilitatis causemini, sive judicetis esse in praecepto, quia et si supra vires ego vobis mandarem sancta obedientia viribus non carebit».

Francis of Assisi: Early Documents, vol. 3, p. 292