The Life of Saint Francis by Thomas of Celano - 193 

been before. Since he had passed the test of temptations, he now enjoyed greater freedom. Throughout these many struggles, he began to exhibit a more joyful appearance. From the injuries inflicted he received a more confident spirit and, now free to go anywhere, he moved about with even greater heart.

Meanwhile, the father returned and, not finding him and heaping sin upon sin, he turned to reviling his wife. He raced to the place, shaking and screaming, so that if he could not call his son back, he might at least drive him from the area. But since the fear of the Lord is the assurance of fortitude, Prv 14:26 when the child of grace heard that his father in the flesh was coming to him, he went out on his own to meet his father crying out loudly that binding and beating lead to nothing. In addition, he declared he would gladly suffer anything for the name of Christ.

14 When the father saw that he could not recall him from the journey he had begun, he became obsessed with recovering the money. The man of God had desired to spend it on feeding the poor and on the buildings of that place. But the one who did not love money could not be deceived even by this appearance of good, and the one who was not bound by any affection for it was not disturbed in any way by its loss. The greatest scorner of the things of earth and the outstanding seeker of heavenly riches had thrown it into the dust on the windowsill. When the money was found, the rage of his angry father was dampened a little and his thirsty greed was quenched a bit by its discovery. Then he led the son to the bishop of the city to make him renounce into the bishop's hands all rights of inheritance and return everything that he had.a Not only did he not refuse this, but he hastened joyfully and eagerly to do what was demanded.

15 When he was in front of the bishop, he neither delayed nor hesitated, but immediately took off and threw down all his clothes and returned them to his father. He did not even keep his trousers on, and he was completely stripped bare before everyone. The bishop, observing his frame of mind and admiring his fervor and determination, got up and, gathering him in his own arms, covered him with the mantle he was wearing. He clearly understood that this was prompted by God and




Vita Prima, Fontes Franciscani, p. 289-290

ad locum in quo fuerat prius, concitus est reversus. —4Maiore enim libertate iam utitur, tentationum documentis probatus, et per multiplicia bella imaginem induerat laetiorem; securiorem ex iniuriis receperat animum, et liber ubique pergens, magnanimior incedebat.

5Revertitur interea pater, et eo non invento, peccata peccatis accumulans, ad convicia uxoris convertitur.6Cucurrit deinde ad locum, fremens et perstrepens, ut si eum revocare non posset, saltem de provincia effugaret .7Verum quia timor Domini fiducia fortitudinis est, ut audivit carnalem patrem gratiae filius ad se venientem, securus et laetus ultro se obtulit, libera voce clamans se pro nihilo ducere vincula et verbera eius .8Insuper attestatur se pro Christi nomine gaudenter mala omnia subiturum.

14 1Videns autem pater quod ab incepto, itinere ipsum revocare non posset, totus ad extorquendam pecuniam instigatur .2Desideraverat vir Dei eam in pauperum victu et illius loci aedificiis totam expendere ac praebere; sed qui pecuniam non amabat, nulla de ipsa specie boni decipi potest, et qui nullo ipsius detinebatur affectu ad eius amissionem in aliquo non turbatur.3Inventa itaque pecunia, quam maximus terrenorum contemptor et caelestium divitiarum nimis cupidus exquisitor in pulverem et fenestram excusserat, saevientis patris aliquantulum exstinguitur furor, et avaritiae sitis inventionis vapore uteumque restringitur. 4Ducit eum deinde coram episcopo civitatis, ut in ipsius manibus omnibus eius renuntians facultatibus, omnia redderet quae habebat.5Quod non solum ipse non renuit, sed et multum gaudens prompto animo acceleravit facere postulata.

15 1Cumque perductus esset coram episcopo, nec moras patitur nec cunctatur de aliquo, immo nec verba exspectat nec facit, sed continuo, depositis et proiectis omnibus vestimentis, restituit ea patri.2Insuper et nec femoralia retinens, totus coram omnibus denudatur.3Episcopus vero animum ipsius attendens, fervoremque ac constantiam nimis admirans, protinus exsurrexit et inter brachia sua ipsum recolligens, pallio quo indutus erat contexit eum.4Intellexit aperte divinum esse consilium,

Francis of Assisi: Early Documents, vol. 1, p. 193