A Mirror of the Perfection (The Sabatier Edition, 1928) - 324 

78
HOW HE WANTED THE ORDER ALWAYS TO BE UNDER THE PROTECTION AND DISCIPLINE OF THE CHURCH

Blessed Francis used to say: "I will go and recommend the religion of the Lesser Brothers to the holy Roman Church. The evil-minded will be terrorized and restrained by the rod of power. The sons of God will enjoy complete freedom, Mt 5:9 which will help to increase eternal salvation everywhere. From now on, let the children acknowledge their mother's sweet favor, and always follow her holy footprints with special devotion.

"For with her protection, nothing evil Ti 2:8 will happen to the Order, and no son of Belial will trample the vineyard of the Lord unpunished. She, that holy mother, will emulate the glory of our poverty and will in no way allow the praises of humility from being obscured by clouds of pride. She will preserve intact among us the bonds of charity and peace, Eph 4:3 striking dissidents with harsh punishments. In her sight the sacred observance of the purity of the Gospel will constantly flourish and she will not allow the sweet fragrance 2 Cor 2:15 of a good reputation and holy manner of living to be destroyed even for an hour."

79
THE FOUR PRIVILEGES WHICH THE LORD GAVE TO THE ORDER AND DECLARED TO BLESSED FRANCIS

As an angel announced to him, Blessed Francis said that he had obtained from the Lord four things. Namely, the religion and the profession of the Lesser Brothers will last until the day of judgment. In addition, no one who deliberately persecutes the Order will live long. Furthermore, no evil person, intending to live an evil life in it, will be able to remain in it for long. Likewise, whosoever loves the Order wholeheartedly, however great a sinner, will obtain mercy in the end.

80
THE QUALITIES HE CONSIDERED NECESSARY FOR A GENERAL MINISTER AND HIS ASSOCIATES

So great was his zeal to preserve perfection in the religion, and so important did he consider the perfect observance of the Rule, that he often considered who might be suitable to govern the whole religion after his death and, with God's help, to preserve its

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Speculum Perfectionis, Fontes Franciscani, p.


Francis of Assisi: Early Documents, vol. 3, p. 324