The Kinship of Saint Francis - 720 

[Chapter IV]


Blessed Francis also appeared to be like Christ in revealing hidden things. For as Christ revealed things hidden in the present and in the future and in souls, so expressly did Francis, as we evidently see in the examples written below, etc.

33 When blessed Francis, our father, came before Lord Pope Innocent the Third for confirmation of the first rule, the Pope replied: "My son, your life is very hard and severe if you wish to found a congregation possessing nothing in this world. For where will you obtain the necessities of life?" Blessed Francis responded: "My Lord, I trust in my Lord Jesus Christ. Since He has promised to give us life and glory in heaven, He will not deprive us of our bodily necessities when we need them on earth." "What you say is true, son," the pope replied, "but human nature is weak and never remains in the same state. But, go and pray to the Lord with all your heart, so that He may show you what is better and more beneficial for your souls. Come back and tell me and I will then grant it."

Francis withdrew to pray. With a pure heart, he prayed to the Lord that in His ineffable piety He would reveal this to him. While he was engaged in prayer, with his whole heart focused on the Lord, the word of the Lord came to his heart and spoke to him figuratively. "There was a little, poor woman in a desert, whose beauty fascinated a great king. He wanted to take her as his wife, because he thought that, from her, he would have handsome sons. After the marriage was celebrated and consummated, there were many sons born and raised. Their mother spoke to them in this way: 'My sons, do not be ashamed, for you are sons of the king. Therefore, go to his court and he will provide for all your needs.' When they went to see the king, he was struck by their good looks, and noticing a resemblance to himself in them, he asked them: 'Whose sons are you?' When they answered they were the sons of the little, poor woman living in the desert, the king embraced them with joy. 'Do not be afraid,' he said, 'for you are my sons. If strangers are fed at my table, how much more will you, who are my lawful sons.' He




Francis of Assisi: Early Documents, vol. 3, p. 720