The Book of Chronicles (Prologue and the First Tribulation) - 397 

365 To those, on the other hand, who persecute, attack, and hate those brothers and their religion and this way of life, there will come, in the present, deprivation of grace; darkness of mind; entanglement in sin; bitterness of heart; and ungodliness; and, if they do not repent and regain their senses before death, the curse of Christ and eternal damnation will come upon them.a

367 Instructed by Christ and his heavenly messenger, in the power of the Holy Spirit Francis announced to the brothers the incomparable dignity, hidden glory, and sublimity of the imitation of the poor and humble life of Christ. With signs and extraordinary deeds, and with living and effective words, the upright of heart among them were inflamed to a pure observance of the life they had undertaken, and were strengthened in their reverence for the Rule they professed.

365 To those he knew to be perfect in love of Christ he revealed the secrets of his heart and what he had received directly from Christ. He told them that love and full, faithful observance of the poverty and humility of Christ were the foundation, the substance, and the root of the evangelical life and Rule revealed to him by Christ. Jesus, the Son of God, consecrated it: born of a poor little mother in a cave, lying in a manger, and wrapped in swaddling clothes because he had no place in the inn; he was circumcised and offered to God; fleeing into Egypt and on His return from there, dwelling in Nazareth; begging for three days, fasting, preaching; dying, buried in another's tomb, rising from the dead. He declared that this was the root of obedience; the mother of renunciation; the death of self-satisfaction, greed, and avarice; the obedience and activity of faith; the expression of hope; the proof of humility; giving birth to the peace of God which surpasses all understanding.

375 He said to the brothers: "Christ has assured me that the religion, when the foundation of poverty is removed, will become a cheap and miserable ruin. For this religion has been consecrated in a special way to the reverent service of charity and of the cross, in order to preserve humble poverty and the bonds of the commands of Christ. It has been chosen to receive spiritually and give birth to Christ Jesus in the inn of the Church in the last days, like another Virgin Mary in the Spirit. It is to promise, love and preserve this 'having nothing' on earth. Loving and preserving this, the brothers will bear Christ Jesus and His Spirit reverently and humbly. Persevering to the end, they will leave this life safe and sure of the kingdom of heaven."

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Francis of Assisi: Early Documents, vol. 3, p. 397