The Life of Saint Francis by Thomas of Celano - 213 

a very high and lofty tree in the world,
bent himself so kindly to his wish and request.

Chapter XIV

34 Saint Francis with his brothers
rejoiced greatly at the task and the favor
given by so great a father and lord.
They gave thanks to Almighty God,
Acts 27:35who places the lowly on high
and raises up mourners to health.
Jb 5:11

He immediately went to visit the tomb of Saint Peter, and after praying there he left the city. Setting out with his companions, he took the road to the Spoleto Valley. As they were going, they discussed among themselves Lk 24:17 the many gifts of different kinds the merciful God granted them. They had been graciously received by Christ's vicar, the lord and father of the whole Christian nation. How could they carry out his advice and commands? How could they sincerely keep the rule they had accepted and steadfastly safeguard it? How could they walk before the Most High in all holiness and religion? Finally, how could their life and conduct, by growth in the holy virtues, be an example to their neighbors?

By the time Christ's new students in the school of humility had finished their disputation, the day was far spent and the hour was late. They arrived at a deserted place. Mt 14:15 They were hungry and exhausted from the weariness of their journey and could not find any food, as that place was far removed from people's homes. But God's grace was looking after them, for suddenly they met a man carrying bread in his hand, and he gave it Mk 14:13 to them and left.a They honestly did not recognize him and, marveling in their hearts Ps 35:25 [Vulgate, Ps 34:25], they all eagerly encouraged each other to a greater trust in divine mercy.

After eating the food and being much strengthened by it, they went on to a place near the city of Orte, where they stayed for about fifteen




Vita Prima, Fontes Franciscani, p. 308-309

arbor in mundo excelsior et sublimior,
eius petitioni et voluntati se tam benignissime inclinavit.

Caput XIV — De reditu ipsius ab urbe Roma in vallem Spoletanam et de mora ipsius per viam.

34 1Sanctus Franciscus cum fratribus suis,
de munere ac gratia tanti patris
et domini plurimum exsultans,
gratias egit omnipotenti Deo,
qui ponit humiles in sublimi
et moerentes erigit sospitate.

2Statimque venit visitare limina beati Petri, et oratione completa, egressus ex Urbe, versus vallem Spoletanam iter arripiens, cum sociis est profectus. — 3Conferebant ad invicem, dum sie irent, quanta et qualia eis clementissimus Deus dona contulerit: qualiter a vicario Christi, domino et patre universae christianae nationis, gratissime sunt recepti ;4qualiter etiam monita et praecepta ipsius adimplere valerent ; 5qualiter regulam quam susceperant possent sincere servare ac indeclinabiliter custodire; 6qualiter in omni sanctitate et religione coram Altissimo ambularent:7qualiter denique vita et mores ipsorum, per incrementa sanctarum virtutum, forent proximis ad exemplum.

8Cumque novi Christi discipuli de huiusmodi sufficienter in schola humilitatis disputassent, dies multum ascendit et hora praeteriit.9Pervenerant tunc ad desertum locum, nimium prae lassitudine itineris fatigati et esurientes refectionem aliquam invenire non poterant, eo quod locus ille ab hominum habitatione valde remotus erat.10Statimque, divina gratia procurante, occurrit eis homo afferens in manu panem, deditque e ipsis et abiit.11Ipsi vero non cognoscentes eum, mirati sunt in cordibus suis, et ut magis de misericordia divina confiderent, devote alter alterum admonebat.

12Sumptoque cibo et ex ipso non modicum confortati, venientes ad quemdam locum prope civitatem Ortensem, ibidem fere per dies quindecim sunt morati.

Francis of Assisi: Early Documents, vol. 1, p. 213