The Life of Saint Francis by Thomas of Celano - 222 

"Get inside, for we shall do well for this place!" When the holy Francis heard this statement, he took it seriously, since he knew the man's intention: the man thought that the brothers wanted to stay there to expand the place by joining house to house. Is 5:8 Immediately Saint Francis left the place, abandoning it because of what the peasant had said. He moved to another place, not far away, which was called "Portiuncula," where, as told above, he had repaired the church of Saint Mary a long time before. He wanted to own nothing so that he could possess everything 2 Cor 6:10 more fully in the Lord.

Chapter XVII

45 The brothers at that time begged him to teach them how to pray, Lk 11:1 because, walking in simplicity Prv 20:7 of spirit, up to that time they did not know the Church's office. Francis told them: "When you pray, sayOur Father' Mt 6:9 and ‘We adore you, O Christ, in all your churches throughout the whole world, and we bless you, for by your holy cross you have redeemed the world.' " The brothers, devout disciples of their master, strove diligently to observe this. For they attempted to fulfill completely not only the things he told them as brotherly advice or fatherly commands, but even those things he thought or meditated upon, if they could know them by some indication. The blessed father told them that true obedience is not about just what is spoken but also about what is thought, not just what is commanded but what is desired, that is: "If a brother subject to a prelate not only hears his words but understands his will, he should immediately ready himself fully for obedience, and do whatever by some sign he knows the other wants."

For this reason, in whatever place a church had been built, even when they were not near it, but could glimpse it from a distance, they would turn toward it. Prostrate on the ground, bowing inwardly and outwardly, they would adore the Almighty saying, "We adore you, O Christ, in all your churches . . ." just as their holy father taught them. What is just as striking is that wherever they saw a cross or the sign of a cross, whether on the ground, on a wall, in the trees or roadside hedges they did the same thing.




Vita Prima, Fontes Franciscani, p. 318-320

« Vade intus, quia huic loco benefaciemus ». 4Quod verbum sanctus Franciscus audiens graviter tulit, illius viri cognoscens intentionem: putabat enim ille ipsos ibidem morari velle ad augendum locum, et ut domum domui copularent. 5Statimque sanctus Franciscus egrediens inde, relicto tugurio illo propter rustici verbum, transtulit se ad locum alium non longe ab illo, qui Portiuncula dicitur, ubi, sicut supra dictum est, ecclesia Sanctae Mariae ab ipso diu ante fuerat reparata. 6Nihil volebat proprietatis habere, ut omnia posset in Domino plenius possidere.

Caput XVII Quomodo beatus Franciscus docuit fratres orare,
et de obedientia et puritate fratrum.

451Deprecati sunt eum fratres tempore illo, ut doceret eos orare, quoniam in simplicitate spiritus ambulantes , adhuc ecclesiasticum officium ignorabant. 2Quibus ipse ait: « Cum orabitis dicite: Pater noster » et: « Adoramus te, Christe, et ad omnes ecclesias tuas, quae sunt in universo mundo, et benedicimus tibi, quia per sanctam crucem tuam redemisti mundum ». ߞ3Hoc autem ipsi fratres, pii magistri discipuli, summa cum diligentia observare curabant, quia non ea tantum quae beatus pater Franciscus dicebat eis fraterno consilio seu paterno imperio, verum etiam si ea quae cogitabat vel meditabatur ipse aliquo scire possent indicio, studebant efficacissime adimplere. 4Dicebat enim eis ipse beatus pater, veram obedientiam fore non solum prolatam sed excogitatam, non solum imperatam sed desideratam; 5hoc est: « Si frater fratris praelati subditus non solum audiat vocem, sed comprehendat voluntatem, statira ad obedientiam totum se debet colligere ac facere quod eum velle signo aliquo comprehendet ».

6In quocumque propterea loco aliqua ecclesia constructa foret, etiamsi praesentes non erant, tantum possent eam utcumque cernere de remotis, inclinabant se versus eam proni super terram, et inclinato utroque homine, adorabant Omnipotentem dicentes: « Adoramus te, Christe, et ad omnes ecclesias tuas », sicut eos docuerat sanctus pater. 7Et, quod non minus est admirandum, ubicumque crucem vel crucis signum intuebantur, sive in terra, sive in pariete, sive in arboribus, sive in saepibus viarum, faciebant hoc idem.

Francis of Assisi: Early Documents, vol. 1, p. 222