The Book of Chronicles (Prologue and the First Tribulation) - 400 

humbly and obediently to follow Christ, who spoke and worked in Francis, the man sent to them by heaven. They therefore judged it necessary and just to drag behind them those who walked in simplicity and fidelity: they considered it praiseworthy.

[During Francis's Absence]

13 The presumption and boldness of these men increased after Saint Francis went on pilgrimage overseas to visit the holy places, preach the faith of Christ to the unbelievers, and gain the crown of martyrdom, as has been said. In many provinces they treated cruelly and harshly the brothers who resisted their efforts and opposed their decrees and who followed instead the footprints and teachings of their father with all their hearts. They not only inflicted unjust penances on them, but expelled them from their company and community as people lacking good sense.

16 A great many brothers, especially the fervent in spirit, considered disobedient, were not received by them; and others, giving way to their fury, were scattered and wandered here and there. They deplored the absence of their holy shepherd and guide, and with many tears and constant prayers begged the Lord for his return.

18 God was looking down from on high on their invocations and pleas and was moved by their afflictions. He therefore appeared to Francis after that sermon to the sultan and his princes.a "Francis," he said, "go back. The flock of your poor brothers which you gathered in my name has been dispersed. It has taken the wrong way and needs your leadership so that, being united and strengthened, it may grow. They have already begun to turn from the way of perfection which you handed on to them and are not remaining in the love and practice of charity, humility and holy poverty, and the innocence of simplicity in which you planted and established them."

23 After this apparition, and after visiting the Lord's Sepulcher,b he hastened back to the land of the Christians. His flock, which he had




Francis of Assisi: Early Documents, vol. 3, p. 400