The Life of Saint Francis by Thomas of Celano - 202 

want," he said, "this is what I seek, this is what I desire with all my heart." The holy father, overflowing with joy 2 Cor 7:4, hastened to implement the words of salvation, and did not delay before he devoutly began to put into effect what he heard.a Immediately, he took off the shoes from his feet Ex 3:5, put down the staff from his hands, and, satisfied with one tunic, exchanged his leather belt for a cord. After this, he made for himself a tunic showing the image of the cross, so that in it he would drive off every fantasy of the demons.b He made it very rough, so that in it he might crucify the flesh with its vices Gal 5:24 and sins. He made it very poor and plain, a thing that the world would never covet. As for the other things he heard, he set about doing them with great care and reverence. For he was no deaf hearer of the gospel; rather he committed everything he heard to his excellent memory and was careful to carry it out to the letter.c

Chapter X

23 He then began to preach penance to all with a fervent spirit and joyful attitude. He inspired his listeners with words that were simple and a heart that was heroic. His word was like a blazing fire Sir 23:22, reaching the deepest parts of the heart, and filling the souls of all with wonder. He seemed entirely different from what he had been, and looking up to heaven Mk 6:41 he refused to look down upon earth. It is truly amazing that he first began to preach Mt 4:17 where he had learned to read as a little boy, and where at first he was reverently buried.




Vita Prima, Fontes Franciscani, p. 297-298

3« Hoc est, inquit, quod volo, hoc est quod quaero, hoc totis medullis cordis facere concupisco ».4Festinat proinde pater sanctus, superabundans gaudio, ad impletionem salutaris auditus, nec moram patitur aliquam praeterire quin operari devotus incipiat quod audivit .5Solvit protinus calceamenta de pedibus, baculum deponit e manibus et, tunica una contentus, pro corrigia funiculum immutavit.6Parat sibi ex tunc tunicam crucis imaginem praeferentem, ut in ea propulset omnes daemoniacas phantasias:7parat asperrimam, ut carnem in ea crucifigat cum vitiis et peccatis :8parat denique pauperrimam et incultam et quae a mundo nullatenus valeat concupisci.9Caetera vero quae audierat, summa cum diligentia, summa cum reverentia facere gestiebat.10Non enim fuerat Evangelii surdus auditor, sed laudabili memoriae quae audierat cuncta commendans, ad litteram diligenter implere curabat.

Caput X — De praedicatione Evangelii et annuntiatione pacis et sex primorum Fratrum conversione.

23 1Exinde cum magno fervore spiritus et gaudio mentis coepit omnibus poenitentiam praedicare, verbo simplici sed corde magnifico aedificans audientes. 2Erat verbum eius velut ignis ardens a, penetrans intima cordis, et omnium mentes admiratione replebat.3Totus alter videbatur quam fuerat, et caelum intuens dedignabatur respicere terram .4Et mirum certe quia ibi coepit primitus praedicare, ubi, cum adhuc esset infantulus, didicerat legere, in quo etiam loco sepultus est honorifice primum,

Francis of Assisi: Early Documents, vol. 1, p. 202