Miscellaneous Franciscan Sources - 820 

that of others, attempted to convince them by pious exhortations to keep the Office of the Church unchanged, saying to them, "Brothers, if you want to say the Office of the Church without shortening it, I will command all the religious who are in the Church, except the Canons Regular and the monks of Saint Benedict, to say your Office." But the brothers refused to agree, and with pressing requests begged for the privilege of leaving out the "Suffrages of the Saints" at Matins and Vespers, both on feasts and on ferial days and the "Have mercy on me, God" at Matins on ferial days, and the "Gradual Canticle" during the Advent of the Lord and shortening the litanies.

Later Rule IV 1: "I strictly command all my brothers not to receive coins or money in any form, either personally or through intermediaries . . ."

After citing a number of examples in which Francis's brothers ignored this prescription of the Rule,a Clareno cites this incident:

And in the penance that he gave to Brother Agostino, still a novice, because, convinced by the pleas of a certain merchant, he took money which he then carried on a journey through a pass where robbers were suspected.

Later Rule V: "Let the brothers never receive money . . ."

Clareno ends his commentary on the fourth chapter of the Rule with this statement which, he claims comes directly from the pen of Brother Leo. The first part of Leo's written statement, at least in this form, is lost. The second part, however, can also be found in AC 15, 2MP 12, and WSF 1.

And Brother Leo wrote, "Saint Francis always exhorted and encouraged his brothers by word and example to love of the highest poverty and sharply rebuked in them anything that deviated from its pure observance. And he frequently said these words to the brothers, 'My brothers, I have never been a thief, that is, of alms, which are the inheritance of the poor; I always took less than my due, so that I might not defraud the other poor of their portion, because whoever would do the contrary would be a thief.' "




Francis of Assisi: Early Documents, vol. 3, p. 820