The Book of Chronicles (Prologue and the First Tribulation) - 407 

house had been built that exceeded the limits of poverty. He turned back and went instead to the house of the Preachers, and they received him with great joy.

161 There was a Brother Preacher of extraordinary holiness and learning who listened devoutly and humbly to the words of Saint Francis. He knew why Saint Francis refused to stay with his own brothers, and felt compassion for the brothers' desolation. He tried to persuade him to go to them and pardon them if they had offended him in any way. Blessed Francis said to him: "It would not be kind indulgence to them for me to approve by my action such a notorious transgression against the poverty they promised, and an offense to God if I were to accept their hospitality while they remain in sin."

165 Seeing that he could not convince Blessed Francis to do this, he said: "For the sake of your other brothers, so that they not incur dishonor from the way you turned back, let us go to these brothers: you will rebuke them with charity for their offense, and so you will fulfill your duty. If because of conscience you do not wish to remain in such a house, we will come back. In this way the reputation of the brothers will be preserved and they will make amends for their offense." Blessed Francis agreed to follow the brother's advice. He found the brothers ready to accept whatever penance he wished to impose on them and he pardoned them.

172 But then he learned of the firm, or rather stubborn attitude of one of his brothers, Brother Pietro Stacia by name, who had been a doctor of law in the world. Through the Spirit he knew that the brother's conscience, his ways of acting, and his teachings were all contrary to the purity of the Rule, so he cursed him. He had been a great man in the world and was much loved by the ministers because of his learning. The brothers therefore, near the end of Saint Francis' life, asked him to pardon and to bestow the favor of his blessing on such a great man he had cursed, but he answered: "My sons, I cannot bless anyone whom the Lord has cursed, and he is cursed."

177 What more can be said? After a short time, that brother grew ill and was close to death. Shaking, with a terrifying voice, he began to scream at the brothers standing by him: "I am damned! Here are the demons! They are carrying me away, cursed, to the torments of the eternal curse and damnation."

180 All present, after experiencing this frightening and sorrowful spectacle of a horrible and fearful judgment learned from it that anyone whom Blessed Francis cursed was eternally cursed beforehand by God. Whether he blessed or cursed anyone, he was moved not by any human emotion or opinion. Rather, having been made




Francis of Assisi: Early Documents, vol. 3, p. 407