A Life of Saint Francis by an Anonymous Monk of a German Monastery - 843 

heeding the urgings of the demons, suitably attributing what is its own to each of these.a

III: He Repairs Three Churches

8 Therefore, Francis carefully weighed the work in every way to restore the church of San Damiano. In the same way, he rebuilt a second church, and in the same way, with the help of God, also a third one called Saint Mary of the Portiuncula, where he also began to stay frequently, because he was inflamed with a remarkable devotion toward the Mother of all goodness. It was here that on a certain day he heard the Gospel being read during the Mass about how the Lord sent his disciples to preach without purse, without money, without shoes and staff, and two tunics, and that they should invoke peace on all, and preach penance. "This is what I desire," he said. And as if these words of the Lord were said especially for him, he strove to implement them all faithfully to the letter.

He Adopts a Form for the Order

9 At that time he formed for himself the habit of the Order of Lesser Brothers and began the Order. From this time on he began to announce to all the reign of God and to preach penance, and the fame of his virtue began to call forth many to the contempt of the world and to a desire for a better life. Among these there were first six men of virtue who, instructed by the Holy Spirit, decided to live under his training and followed him. While he formed these men with new instruction, he taught them to walk with steady steps in the way of blessed poverty, holy simplicity, and the entire range of spiritual discipline.

God Shows Him the Future

10 One day when blessed father Francis was at prayer, he recalled before the Lord in bitterness of his soul the years he spent in the world. He was divinely infused with an ineffable joy and the guarantee of the remission of all his sins, and caught up above himself in an excess of mind. It was revealed to him by the Lord that his new brotherhood would be enlarged into a great multitude and by a divine gift spread to the ends of the earth. When he returned to himself he announced what he had seen and admonished them to have confidence in the




Francis of Assisi: Early Documents, vol. 3, p. 843