The Kinship of Saint Francis - 710 

The cardinal related everything to blessed Francis, giving him some advice as well. Then blessed Francis took him by the hand, saying nothing, and led him to the brothers assembled in chapter, and spoke to the brothers in the fervor and power of the Holy Spirit: "My brothers! My brothers! God has called me by the way of simplicity and humility, and has truly shown me this way for me, but also for those who want to trust and follow me. Therefore I do not want you to mention to me any Rule, whether of Saint Augustine, or of Saint Bernard, or of Saint Benedict, or any other form of life except the one that the Lord in His mercy has shown and given to me.a And the Lord told me what He wanted: He wanted me to be a new fool in this world. God did not wish to lead us by any way other than this knowledge, but God will confound you by your knowledge and wisdom. But I trust in the Lord's police that through them God will punish you, and you will return to your state, with your blame, like it or not."

The cardinal was shocked, and said nothing, and all the brothers were afraid.


Another time, while blessed Francis remained sick in that palace of the Bishop of Assisi, one day one of the companions said to him: "Father, excuse me, because what I want to say to you, many have already thought. You know," he said, "how formerly through the grace of God, the whole religion flourished in the purity of perfection, that is, how all the brothers fervently and zealously observed holy poverty in all things, in small and poor dwellings, in small and poor furnishings, in small and poor books, and in clothing. And as in these things, as well as in all other exterior things, they were of one will, concerned about observing everything that had to do with our profession and calling, and eager to give good example to everyone. In this way they were of one mind in the love of God and neighbor, and were truly apostolic and evangelical men.

"But, for some time now, this purity and perfection have very much begun to change into something different, although many use the great number of brothers as an excuse, claiming that on




Francis of Assisi: Early Documents, vol. 3, p. 710