The Little Flowers of Saint Francis (after 1337) - 576 

commits the greatest of sins. He should instead be honored most highly, since he's a friend of God." And he said to Brother Bernard: "If you want to take a place in which you can serve God fittingly, I'll gladly give it to you for the good of my soul." Brother Bernard replied: "Sir, I believe that our Lord Jesus Christ inspired you to do this. Therefore I gladly accept your offer, for the honor of Christ." Then, with great joy and charity that judge took Brother Bernard to his house. And then he gave him the place he promised, and he prepared it all and finished it at his own expense. From that moment on he became the father and special defender of Brother Bernard and his companions.

And Brother Bernard began to be greatly honored by the people because of his holy way of living, so much so, that whoever could touch or see him considered himself blessed. But he, as a true disciple of Christ and of the humble Francis, fearing that the honor of the world might be an obstacle to the peace and health of his soul, left one day and returned to Saint Francis and said to him: "Father, the place in the city of Bologna has been taken. Send some brothers there to keep it and stay there, because I wasn't making any profit there. Rather, because of the excessive honor given me there, I fear I'd lose more there than I'd gain." Then, on hearing in detail everything that God had accomplished through Brother Bernard, Saint Francis thanked God, who in this way began to spread the poor little disciples of the Cross, and he then sent some of his companions to Bologna and into Lombardy, and they took many places in various areas.

To the praise of Jesus Christ and the little poor man Francis.

Chapter 6

Brother Bernard was a man of such great holiness that Saint Francis held him in great reverence and often praised him. One day, as Saint Francis was devoutly in prayer, it was revealed to him by God that Brother Bernard, by divine permission, would have to endure many and diverse and fierce battles with demons. Because of this Saint Francis, having great compassion for the same Brother Bernard, whom he loved as his dear son, prayed tearfully for many days, praying to God for him and commending him to Jesus Christ,




Francis of Assisi: Early Documents, vol. 3, p. 576