Miscellaneous Franciscan Sources - 800 

the world spreading the word of God and giving an example of virtue.'

"We humbly responded: 'We are illiterate lay brothers. What can we do for the salvation of the world?' He answered: 'Go forth, secure of the help of God. And you have written on our hearts these two assurances that the Lord himself gave us: Cast your care upon the Lord and he will sustain you! He said this to remove any hesitancy we might have, since he was sending us without any provisions into unknown regions. And he also quoted that saying from the Gospel: Do not worry about what you are to eat or what you are to say. It will not be you that are speaking, but the Spirit of your Father speaking in you.' And this he said in answer to those of us who said, 'We are illiterate,' wanting by these words to comfort and strengthen our hearts to be confident that our God the Most High would make up for our defects, when we act in a spirit of compassion and hope in him."a

116 Brother Nicholas of Assisi recounted the following incident: "My father's house was attached to the house of Blessed Francis.b My mother told me this story. When Saint Francis's mother was resting in her bed after having given him birth, as women are accustomed to do after their labor, with some of the women of the neighborhood there with her, a pilgrim came to the door as if he were seeking alms. But when he had taken the piece of chicken that Francis's mother sent out to him, he began to beg with great insistence that he wanted to see the newborn child. The women tried to send him away, but he kept insisting that he would not leave until he had first seen the baby boy. Then Lady Pica, the mother of Saint Francis, said: 'Take the baby out so he can see it.' As soon as he saw the child, he embraced it, saying: 'Two babies were born the same day on this street, this one and another. One of them, this one here, will be one of the best men in the world, the other will be one of the worst.' " The passage of the years proved what he said to be true.c

123 The bishop of Assisi, our brother, relates the following story recounted to him by Brother Bonaparte,d a holy man who is still




Francis of Assisi: Early Documents, vol. 3, p. 800