The Book of Chronicles (Prologue and the First Tribulation) - 386 

asked and given for the love of the Lord God and the love of Christ Jesus His Son, who became poor for us so that by His poverty He would make us rich in present grace and sanctify us as blessed in future glory, can be called the bread of angels rather than the food of the body.

133 Thus, according to what he received from Christ, Francis says in his Rule: "Let the brothers not make anything their own, neither house, nor place, nor anything at all; but as pilgrims and strangers in this world, serving the Lord in poverty and humility, let them go seeking alms with confidence; and they should not be ashamed because, for us, the Lord made Himself poor in this world. This is that sublime height of the highest poverty which has made you, my most beloved brothers, heirs and kings of the Kingdom of Heaven, poor in temporal things, exalted in virtue. Let this be your portion, which leads into the land of the living. Giving yourselves totally to this, most beloved brothers, never seek anything else under heaven for the name of our Lord Jesus Christ."

140 In order to preserve purely and completely the perfection of the highest evangelical poverty revealed to him by Christ, Francis, in the strength and certitude of the spirit of Christ, strictly orders: "Wherever they may be, they are not to dare to ask any letter from the Roman Curia, either personally or through an intermediary, whether for a church or a place, or under the pretext of preaching or the persecution of their bodies; but wherever they have not been received let the brothers flee into another country to do penance with the blessing of God."

144 He adds at the end that his Testament is not another Rule, but an exhortation or remembrance of both his first and last intention, revealed to him by Christ, a testament which he made for his blessed brothers, that they might observe the Rule they promised the Lord in a more Catholic way, because the Catholic, faithful, and pure observance of the Rule, which he received from Christ, was contained in the literal understanding of the Testament and Rule.

147 Therefore he strictly commanded by obedience that they were not to place glosses on the Rule and Testament, saying: "They should be understood in this way." But as the Lord granted him to speak and write the Rule and Testament simply and purely, they were to understand them simply and purely without gloss, and observe them with a holy activity until the end.

152 Therefore anyone who possesses the truth of the faith and charity of Christ knows how many absurd and inappropriate things are said by those who attempt to void or nullify Saint Francis, his Rule and Testament, things against Christ, the apostles, their disciples, the




Francis of Assisi: Early Documents, vol. 3, p. 386