Sacred Exchange between St. Francis & Lady Poverty - 531 

abound in riches for the duration of our lives is tedious and demanding, and there is no remedy at one's final hour. Wis 2:1 We haven't learned anything better than to rejoice, eat and drink while we live." Is 22:13 1 Cor 15:32

7While he was listening to these things, blessed Francis marveled in his heart and, thanking God, declared: "Blessed are you, the Lord God, Lk 1:68 who have hidden these things from the wise and prudent and have revealed them to little ones! Yes, Father, because such was your pleasure! Lord, father and ruler of my life, do not abandon me to their counsels nor let me fall in that condemnation. Through your grace, let me, instead, find what I seek for I am your servant and the son of your handmaid." Ps 116:16 [Vulgate, Ps 115:16]

8After he left the city, then, blessed Francis quickly came to a certain field in which, as he looked from afar, he saw two old men wasted away from great sorrow. Lam 1:13a One of them spoke in this way: "Whom shall I respect except the one who is poor and contrite in spirit and the one who trembles at my words?" Is 66:2 "We brought nothing into the world," the other said, "and, without a doubt, we can take nothing out of it; but having food and whatever covers us, we are content with these."

He Asks To Be Shown Where Poverty Lives

9When blessed Francis reached them, he said to them: "Tell me, I beg you, where does Lady Poverty dwell? Where does she eat? Where does she rest at noon, Sg 1:6 for I languish with love of her?"

But they answered: "Good brother, we have sat here for a time and for times and for half a time. Rv 12:14b We have frequently seen her pass by for there are many searching for her. Sometimes many accompanied her, but she returned alone and naked, not adorned with any jewels, Is 61:10 nor graced with any companions, nor wearing any clothes. She used to weep bitterly and say 'The children of my mother have fought against




Sacrum commercium sancti Francisci cum domina Paupertate, Fontes Franciscani, p.

9Nobis autem sedet deliciis perfrui et abundare divitiis, quoniam exiguum et cum tedio est tempus vite nostre, et non est refrigerium infine hominis. 10Nihil enim melius cognovimus quam letari, manducare et bibere donec vivimus."

11Beatus Franciscus hec audiens mirabatur in corde suo et, gratias agens Deo, dicebat: 12 "Benedictus tu, Domine Deus, qui abscondisti hec a sapientibus et prudentibus et revelasti ea parvulis! Ita, Pater, quoniam sic placitum est ante te. 13Domine, pater et dominator vite mee, ne derelinquas me in consilio eorum nec sinas me cadere in illa exprobratione, sed da mihi, tua gratia, invenire quod quero, quia servus tuus sum et filius ancille tue."

14Egressus itaque de civitate beatus Franciscus concito gradu venit ad quemdam campum in quo, de longe prospiciens, vidit duos senes sedentes gravi merore confectos, quorum unus sic loquebatur: 15 "Ad quem respiciam nisi ad pauperculum et contritum spiritu et trementem sermones meos?" 16Et alius dicebat: "Nihil intulimus in hunc mundum, haud dubium quia nec auferre quid possumus; habentes autem alimenta et quibus tegamur, iis contenti sumus".

Capitulum 2 Hic petit sibi indicari ubi Paupertas habitat.

1Cumque pervenisset beatus Frianciscus ad eos, dixit eis: "Indicate mihi, obsecro, ubi domina Paupertas habitet, ubi pascat, ubi cubet in meridie, quoniam eius amore langueo."

2At illi respondentes dixerunt: "Bone frater, nos hic sedimus per tempus et tempora et dimidium temporis, et frequenter vidimus eam transire, quoniam plures querebant eam. 3Multi quandoque comitabantur eam, sed sepe sola revertebatur et nuda, nullis ornata monilibus, nullis decorata comitibus, nullis vestibus circumdata . 4Flebat enim amarissime atque dicebat: 'Filii matris mee pugnaverunt contra me.'

Francis of Assisi: Early Documents, vol. 1, p. 531