The Life of Saint Francis by Thomas of Celano - 218 

a supple spirit, a peaceable tongue, a mild answer,
a single purpose, prompt obedience, and untiring hands.

39 Since they looked down on all earthly things and never loved themselves selfishly, they poured out all their loving affection in common, hiring themselves out for wages to provide for their brothers' needs. They gathered together out of desire and were delighted to stay together; but they found being apart a burden, parting bitter, and separation hard.

But these obedient soldiers never dared to put anything before the orders of obedience: before the word of obedience was uttered, they prepared themselves to carry out the order. They almost ran headlong to carry out what they were asked with no thought of contradicting it, knowing nothing about distinguishing precepts.a

As °followers of most holy poverty,° since they had nothing, they loved nothing; so they feared losing nothing. They were satisfied with a single tunic, often patched both inside and out. Nothing about it was refined, rather it appeared lowly and rough so that in it they seemed completely crucified to the world. Gal 6:14 They wore crude trousers with a cord for a belt. They held firmly to the holy intention of remaining this way and having nothing more. So they were safe wherever they went. Disturbed by no fears, distracted by no cares, they awaited the next day without any worry.b Though frequently on hazardous journeys, they were not anxious about where they might stay the next day. Often they needed a place to stay in extreme cold, and a baker's oven would receive them; or they would hide for the night humbly in caves or crypts.

During the day those who knew how worked with their own hands, staying in the houses of lepers or in other suitable places, serving everyone humbly and devoutly. They did not want to take any job that might give rise to scandal;c but rather always doing what was holy and just, honest and useful, they inspired all they dealt with to follow their
example of humility and patience.

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Vita Prima, Fontes Franciscani, p. 313-314


animus supplex, lingua placabilis, responsio mollis,
idem propositum, promptum obsequium et indefessa manus.

391Et quidem, cum cuncta terrena despicerent et se ipsos numquam amore privato diligerent, totius amoris affectum in communi refundentes, se ipsos dare in pretium satagebant, ut fraternae necessitati pariter subvenirent. 2Desiderabiliter conveniebant, delectabilius simul erant; sed gravis erat utrimque separatio socialis, amarum divortium, acerba disiunctio.

3Sed nihil sanctae obedientiae praeceptis audebant praeponere obedientissimi milites, qui antequam perficeretur obedientiae verbum, se ad exsequendum imperium praeparabant; 4nihil scientes discernere in praeceptis, ad quaeque iniuncta, omni contradictione remota, quasi praecipites concurrebant. —5« Paupertatis sanctissimae sectatores » quia nihil habebant, nihil amabant: nihil proinde perdere verebantur. 6Sola tunica erant contenti, repetiata quandoque intus et foris; nullus in ea cultus sed despectus multus et vilitas apparebat, ut in ea crucifixi mundo penitus viderentur. 7Fune succincti, femoralia vilia gestabant, et in his omnibus permanere, nihilque amplius habere, propositum pium habebant. —8Securi propterea erant ubique, nullo timore suspensi, nulla cura distracti, sine omni sollicitudine diem crastinum exspectabant, nec de serotino utique hospitio, in magno frequenter itineris discrimine positi, anxiabantur. 9Nam cum saepe in maximis frigoribus necessario carerent hospitio, clibanus recolligebat eos, vel certe in cryptis seu speluncis humiliter noctibus latitabant. —

10Diebus vero manibus propriis qui noverant laborabant, exsistentes in domibus leprosorum, vel in aliis locis honestis, servientes omnibus humiliter et devote. 11Nullum officium exercere volebant de quo posset scandalum exoriri, sed semper sancta et iusta, honesta et utilia operantes, omnes cum quibus conversabantur, ad humilitatis exemplum et patientiam provocabant.

Francis of Assisi: Early Documents, vol. 1, p. 218

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