The Life of Saint Francis by Thomas of Celano - 214 

days. Some of them went into the city to acquire the necessary food. They brought back to the other brothers the small amount they managed to obtain by going door-to-door and they ate together with gratitude and joyful hearts. If anything remained, since they could not give it to anyone, they stored it in a tomb, which had once held the bodies of the dead, so they could eat it at another time. The place was deserted and abandoned, and hardly anyone ever visited it.

35 They had great joy, because they saw nothing and had nothing that could give them empty or carnal delight.a There, they began to have commerce with holy poverty.b Greatly consoled in their lack of all things of the world, 1 Cor 7:33 they resolved to adhere to the way they were in that place always and everywhere. Only divine consolation delighted them, having put aside all their cares 1 Pt 5:7 about earthly things. They decided and resolved that even if buffeted by tribulations and driven by temptations they would not withdraw from its embrace. Eccl 3:5

Even though the delight of that place could have greatly spoiled true spiritual vigor, it did not capture their affection. They left the place, so the continuity of a longer stay would not tie them even by appearance to some kind of ownership. Then following their blessed father, they entered the Spoleto Valley. These true proponents of justice conferred together about whether they should live among people or go off to solitary places. Saint Francis did not put his trust in his own efforts, but with holy prayer coming before any decision, he chose not to live for himself Ps 88:14 [Vulgate, Ps 87:14] alone, but for the one who died for all. 2 Cor 5:15 For he knew that he was sent for this: to win for God souls which the devil was trying to snatch away.

Chapter XV
ON THE FAME OF BLESSED FRANCIS AND OF THE CONVERSION OF MANY TO GOD, AND HOW THE ORDER WAS NAMED THE LESSER BROTHERS AND HOW BLESSED FRANCIS FORMED THOSE ENTERING RELIGION

36 Francis, Christ's bravest soldier,
went around the cities and villages, Mt 9:35

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Vita Prima, Fontes Franciscani, p. 309-310


ibidem fere per dies quindecim sunt morati. 13Aliqui eorum intrantes civitatem acquirebant necessaria victus, et modicum illud quod acquirere poterant ostiatim, ad fratres alios deportantes, cum gratiarum actione et laetitia cordis, pariter manducabant. 14Si quid vero residuum erat, quoniam alicui dare non poterant, recondebant illud in quodam sepulchro, quod aliquando conservaverat corpora mortuorum, ut idem iterum manducarent. 15Locus ille desertus erat atque relictus, et aut rarorum aut nullorum frequentabatur accessu.

351Erat eis exsultatio magna, cum nihil viderent vel haberent quod eos posset vane seu carnaliter delectare. 2Coeperunt propterea cum sancta paupertate ibidem habere commercium, et in defectu omnium quae sunt mundi nimium consolati, disponebant, sicut ibi erant, ei ubique perpetuo adhaerere. 3Et quia, deposita omni sol1icitudine i terrenorum, sola eos divina consolatio delectabat, statuunt et confirmant, nullis tribulationibus agitati, nullis impulsi tentationibus, ab eius amplexibus resilire.

4Sed licet ipsius loci amoenitas, quae ad corrumpendum verum vigorem animi non mediocriter potest, eorum non detineret affectus, ne saltem longioris morae assiduitas vel solum exterius eis aliquid proprietatis innecteret, loco ipso relicto, sequentes felicem patrem vallem Spoletanam tunc temporis intraverunt. — 5Conferebant pariter, veri cultores iustitiae, utrum inter homines conversari deberent, an ad loca solitaria se conferre. 6Sed sanctus Franciscus, qui non de industria propria confidebat, sed sancta oratione omnia praeveniebat negotia, elegit non sibi vivere soli, sed ei qui pro omnibus mortuus est, sciens se ad hoc missum ut Deo animas lucraretur quas diabolus conabatur auferre.

Caput XV — De fama beati Francisci et de conversione multorum ad Deum, et quomodo Ordo vocatus est fratrum minorum, et qualiter religionem intrantes beatus Franciscus informabat.

361Circuibat proinde fortissimus miles
Christi Franciscus civitates et castella,

Francis of Assisi: Early Documents, vol. 1, p. 214

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