The Life of Saint Francis by Thomas of Celano - 209 

Coming together in one place, 1 Cor 11:20
they celebrate with great joy on seeing their devoted shepherd,
and they are amazed that
the same desire to come together moved all of them in this way.
They report the good things
which the merciful Lord Ps 115:5 [Vulgate, Ps 114:5] was doing for them,
and if they had been somewhat negligent and ungrateful,
they humbly ask and carefully accept
correction and punishment from the holy father.a

They always acted in this way when they came to him, and they did not hide from him the least of their thoughts or even immediate impulses of their souls. When they had fulfilled everything which had been commanded, they regarded themselves as useless servants. Lk 17:10 For a pure spirit so possessed that whole first school of blessed Francis that, though they knew how to carry out things that were useful, holy and just, they were completely ignorant of how to rejoice over them with vanity. The blessed father, embracing his sons with unbounded love, began to open up to them his proposal and to show them what the Lord had revealed to him.

31 Immediately four other good and sound men were added Acts 2:41 to them as followers of the holy man of God. On that account, a loud cry began among the people and the fame of the man of God began to spread far and wide. At that time Saint Francis and his brothers felt great gladness and unique joy whenever one of the faithful, led by the Spirit of God, came and accepted the habit of holy religion, whoever the person might be: rich or poor, noble or insignificant, wise or simple, cleric or illiterate, a layman of the Christian people. This was a great wonder to those of the world and an example of humility, challenging them to the way of a more reformed life and to penance for sins.

No lowliness of birth,
no weakness of poverty
stood in the way of building up in God's work
the ones God wanted to build up Acts 20:32,

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Vita Prima, Fontes Franciscani, p. 304-305


4Convenientibus vero in unum,
de visione pii pastoris magna gaudia celebrant
et se sic uno convenisse desiderio
admirantur.
5Referunt deinde bona
quae misericors Dominus fecerat eis,
et si negligentes et ingrati aliquatenus exstitissent,
correctionem et disciplinam a sancto patre
humiliter petunt et diligenter suscipiunt.

6Sic enim consueverant facere semper, cum veniebant ad eum, nec ab eo cogitationem minimam vel primos etiam motus animi occultabant, et cum omnia implevissent, quae ipsis praecepta erant, servos se inutiles o reputabant. 7Sic enim totam illam primam beati Francisci scholam puritatis spiritus possidebat, ut cum utilia, sancta et iusta operari sciret, de ipsis gaudere inaniter penitus ignoraret. 8Beatus vero pater, nimia charitate filios suos amplectens, coepit eis suum aperire propositum, et, quae sibi Dominus revelaverat, indicare.

311Statim autem alii quatuor boni viri et idonei appositi sunt ad eos et secuti sunt sanctum Dei .2Factus est proinde rumor magnus in populo et fama viri Dei coepit longius dilatari. 3Erat certe illo in tempore sancto Francisco et fratribus suis exsultatio magna nimis et gaudium singulare, quando aliquis, quicumque ac qualiscumque, fidelis, dives, pauper, nobilis, ignobilis, vilis, carus, prudens, simplex, clericus, idiota, laicus in populo christiano, spiritu Dei ductus veniebat sanctae religionis habitum suscepturus.4Erat etiam saecularibus viris de omnibus admiratio multa et humilitatis exemplum, eos provocans ad emendatioris vitae viam et poenitentiam peccatorum.

5Nulla ignobilitas,
nulla paupertatis infirmitas obsistebat,
quin aedificarentur in opere Dei quos volebat aedificare

Francis of Assisi: Early Documents, vol. 1, p. 209

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