The Deeds of Blessed Francis & His Companions (1328-1337) - 508 

penance. Blessed Francis found Brother Rufino who had just begun to preach. He was saying devoutly: "Oh, my dear people, flee the world; abandon sin; return what is not yours, if you wish to avoid hell; keep the commandments by loving God and neighbor, if you wish to reach heaven, and do penance for the kingdom of God is at hand." Mt 3:2 And then Saint Francis, naked, got up into the pulpit and preached such wonderful things about contempt of the world, holy penance, voluntary poverty, the desire for the kingdom of heaven, about the nakedness, insults, and most holy Passion of Jesus Christ crucified, that all the men and women who had gathered in a great crowd, began to weep loudly. And with incredible devotion and remorse, they called to high heaven for the mercy of the Most High so that almost all were transformed into a new astonished state of mind.

12 In Assisi there was such wailing by the people who were present that never was such grief heard in that city over the Passion of our Lord Jesus Christ. Now that the people were edified and Christ's sheep were consoled and the name of our Lord Jesus Christ was blessed in loud voices, Saint Francis had Brother Rufino get dressed again and he also got dressed. And dressed again in their tunics, they glorified and praised God because they had won a victory over themselves, had edified the Lord's sheep, and pointed out how the world should be scorned. Then they returned to the place of the Portiuncula. Those people considered themselves blessed who were able to touch the hem of their garments.

To the praise of our Lord Jesus Christ.


1 Because of his heart's great attention to God and his angelic peace of mind, that same Brother Rufino, whenever he was called by someone, responded with such seriousness, such sweetness, and with such a hesitant voice to the one calling him that he seemed to be returning from another world. When he once was called by a companion to go for bread, he responded in a truly godlike manner: "Fra-a-a-te mi-mi-o, mu-u-u-ultu voluntiere." That is: "Ve-e-e-rrry gla-a-a-add-ly, m-m-m-my b-b-b-brother."b




Francis of Assisi: Early Documents, vol. 3, p. 508