A Letter to Brother Leo - 122 

A Letter to Brother Leo
(1224-1226)a

This short letter was written on a small piece of parchment. Worn spots suggest that Brother Leo must have kept it with him as a precious relic. Although scholars do not agree, a comparison of Francis’s handwriting in this parchment with that given to Leo on LaVerna indicates that he may have been suffering from the stigmata at the time of offering him this piece of advice.b


Edition of Kajetan Esser

1Brother Leo, health and peace from Brother Francis!c

2I am speaking, my son, in this way—as a mother would—because I am putting everything we said on the road in this brief message and advice.d If, afterwards, you need to come to me for counsel, I advise you thus: 3In whatever way it seems better to you to please the Lord God and to follow His footprinte and poverty, do it with the blessing of the Lord God and my obedience. 4And if you need and want to come to me for the sake of your soul or for some consolation, Leo, come.

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Epistola ad fratrem leonem, Fontes Franciscani, p. 89


Epistola ad Fratrem Leonem

Editio Esser

1Frater Leo, frater Francisco tuo salutem et pacem.

2Ita dico tibi, fili mei, sicut mater: quia omnia verba, quae diximus in via, breviter in hoc verba [!] dispono et consilio, et si dopo [tibi?] oportet propter consilium venire ad me, quia ita consilio tibi: 3In quocumque modo melius videtur tibi placere Domino Deo et sequi vestigiam [!] et paupertatem suam, faciatis cum beneditione Domini Dei et mea obedientia. 4Et, si tibi est necessarium animam, tuam propter aliam consolationem tuam, et vis, Leo, venire ad me, veni.

Francis of Assisi: Early Documents, vol. 1, p. 122

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