A Life of Saint Francis by an Anonymous Monk of a German Monastery - 842 

ruins." Stunned by the authority of the voice, he was totally changed into another man. He made himself ready to obey, that he might repair that very weakened material church, although the request should rather be understood to refer to the holy Church of the faithful which is the dwelling of the living God, and which seemed to be breaking down in many instances on every side, both in faith and in morals, that he would repair it by his example and by the instruction of his holy doctrine. Later, through his servant Francis, the Order of Poor Ladies had its beginning in this same place, of which blessed Clare, that most holy virgin, by God's order, was the primary foundation.

He Sells What He Possesses

6 Francis, the servant of God, wishing to become the perfect imitator of the evangelical perfection in order to purchase that precious treasure and heavenly pearl, sold everything he possessed, because he was a salesman by profession, and he dispensed some of that money to repair that church and the rest he set aside for the use of the poor. When his natural father, who loved him according to the flesh, not according to the spirit, understood his son's intention, he tried to recall his son from the good he had begun, first by berating him with abusive words, and then also by molesting him with beatings and chains. But Francis, the man of God who was prepared to suffer these and other things for Christ, rejoiced that he was accounted worthy to suffer disgrace for His name of Jesus. His father, seeing that he was doing no good, was led on by cupidity and tried at length to extort this money from him.

He Restores Everything to His Father.

7 But he who did not love money, although he decided to spend it on pious uses, carefully weighed in what manner he might licitly rid himself of it. In front of the bishop of the city not only did he cheerfully give up the money, but also the clothes in which he was dressed, down to his trousers. And standing there naked, he demonstrated that he had nothing in common with the world. By embracing the naked Christ on the cross, he was prepared to enter naked into wrestling with the naked devil. It was then discovered, moreover, that he was wearing a hair shirt next to his skin which perfectly shows that he was the victor over the flesh, the world, and the devil, spurning the world, subjecting the flesh to the spirit by chastisement, not acceding to the temptations of the devil, not




Francis of Assisi: Early Documents, vol. 3, p. 842