Historia Occidentalis - 584 

everyone else into the fullness of their Order regardless of obstacles, the less they are worried about what source the Lord might use to support them, for they commit themselves totally to the munificence of divine Providence. All that they give to those who come to them is a cord and a tunic, and the rest they leave to heavenly care.

12 And so the Lord has given back a hundredfold to his servants in this world; on this road they are traveling he keeps his eyes fixed on them, so much so that we ourselves have seen fulfilled to the letter in them what has been written: the Lord loves the stranger, providing him food and clothing. Mt 19:29 Dt 10:18 Indeed, people consider themselves fortunate if these servants of God do not refuse to accept alms or hospitality from them.

13 Not only Christ’s faithful but even the Saracens and people in the darkness [of unbelief] admire their humility and virtue, and when the brothers fearlessly approach them to preach, they willingly receive them and, with a grateful spirit, provide them with what they need.

14 We have seen the founder and master of this Order, Brother Francis,a a simple, uneducated man beloved by God and man, whom all the others obey as their highest superior. He was so moved by spiritual fervor and exhilaration that, after he reached the army of Christians before Damietta in Egypt, he boldly set out for the camp of the Sultan of Egypt, fortified only with the shield of faith. Eph 6:16 When the Saracens captured him on the road, he said: “I am a Christian. Take me to your master.” They dragged him before the Sultan. When that cruel beast saw Francis, he recognized him as a man of God and changed his attitude into one of gentleness, and for some days he listened very attentively to Francis as he preached the faith of Christ to him and his followers. But ultimately, fearing that some of his soldiers would be converted to the Lord by the efficacy of his words and pass over to the Christian army, he ordered that Francis be returned to our camp with all reverence and security. At the end he said to Francis: “Pray for me, that God may deign to reveal to me the law and the faith which is more pleasing to Him.”

15 In fact, the Saracens willingly listen to all these Lesser Brothers when they preach about faith in Christ and the Gospel teaching, but only as long as in their preaching they do not speak against Mohammed as a liar and an evil man. When they did speak in such a manner, the Saracens irreverently put them to the lash and savagely expelled them




Historia Occidentalis, Historia occidentalis, p. 158-163

Alios autem omnes in amplitudine religionis sue tanto confidentius absque ulla contradictionis molestia suscipiunt, quanto diuine munificentie et prouidentie sese committentes, unde eos dominus sustentare debeat, non formidant. Ipsi enim, funiculum cum tunica uenientibus ad se largientes, quod reliquum est superne procurationi relinquunt.

Adeo enim ministris suis dominus in hoc seculo centuplum restituit in uia hac qua gradiuntur, firmando super ipsos oculos suos, quod in eis ad litteram completum esse cognouimus quod scriptum est : «Dominus amat peregrinum et dat ei uictum et uestitum.» Felices enim se reputant, a quibus hospitalitatis obsequium uel elemosinas serui dei suscipere non recusant.

Non solum autem Christi fideles sed etiam sarraceni et obtenebrati homines, eorum humilitatem et perfectionem ammirantes, quando causa predicationis ad ipsos intrepidi accedunt, grato animo necessaria prouidentes, libentur eos recipiunt.

Vidimus primum huius ordinis fundatorem et magistrum, cui tamquam summo priori suo omnes alii obediunt, uirum simplicem et illitteratum, dilectum deo et hominibus, fratrem Francinum nominatum, ad tantum ebrietatis excessum et feruorem spiritus raptum fuisse, quod, cum ad exercitum christianorum ante Damiatam in terra Egypti deuenisset, ad soldani Egypti castra intrepidus et fidei clypeo communitus accessit. Quem cum in uia captum sarraceni tenuissent, «Ego», inquit, «christianus sum. Ducite me ad dominum uestrum». Quem cum ante ipsum pertraxissent, uidens eum bestia crudelis, in aspectu uiri dei in mansuetudine conuersa, per dies aliquot ipsum sibi et suis Christi fidem predicantem attendissime audiuit. Tandem uero, metuens ne aliqui de exercitu suo, uerborum eius efficacia ad dominum conuersi, ad christianorum exercitum pertransirent, cum omni reuerentia et securitate ad nostrorum castra reduci precepit, dicens ei in fine : «Ora pro me, ut deus legem illam et fidem que magis sibi placet mihi dignetur reuelare.»

Sarraceni autem omnes predictos fratres minores tamdiu de Christi fide et euangelica doctrina predicantes libenter audiunt, quousque Machometo tamquam mendaci et perfido in predicatione sua manifeste contradicunt. Ex tunc autem impie eos uerberantes, et, nisi deus mirabiliter protegeret, pene trucidantes, de ciuitatibus suis expellunt.

Francis of Assisi: Early Documents, vol. 1, p. 584