The Book of Chronicles (Prologue and the First Tribulation) - 401 

left united, he found dispersed as the Lord had said. Seeking it out with great effort and tears, he gathered it together.

25 When the afflicted brothers heard of his return, they went to him with haste, great desire, and immense joy of heart. Giving thanks to God, they threw themselves at his feet and honored the very footprints of the shepherd they had missed for so long. He encouraged the timid, consoled the sorrowing, rebuked the restless, and reprimanded the fault of those who dispersed them; and he brought together in charity those who were scattered and those who scattered them. He inspired and inflamed both groups by his exhortations and admonitions to bear happily all hardships small or great and even death for the sake of Christ and observance of the Rule.

29 All were filled with wonder at the words of grace which came from his mouth; and they were amazed on considering the perfection of his life, his outstanding practice of virtue, and the countless signs and wonders God accomplished every day through him. Those who put the prudence of their own ideas before his warnings and exhortations could not openly resist or reasonably argue against his words.

32 They all remained silent therefore and seemed to follow and obey him with reverence. Some obeyed with pure heart and good conscience and unfeigned faith; others obeyed out of human prudence and the demands of their vow, but not willingly. The latter, fearing any note of disgrace in the eyes of men, especially of prelates, decided among themselves that when the time came, they would rule themselves and others by their own judgment and maintain with their followers an honorable reputation for holiness and integrity, meanwhile, through their prudence, moving back and away from the intention and desire of the founder. For they feared him and humbled themselves before him, showing externally great friendliness and devotion to him in word and deed. In this way, under the mantle of his holiness, they covered up their intended plans.

39 For they knew that the Father of Christians, the Lord Supreme Pontiff, and his brothers, the lord cardinals, revered and loved him particularly, and out of regard for his holiness granted him generous favors and venerated him with sincere affection. They also knew that love, reverence, and faithful and obedient attachment to him merited the good will and confidential access to those same people; and acting otherwise would gain their displeasure and exclusion from their friendship.




Francis of Assisi: Early Documents, vol. 3, p. 401