The Earlier Rule - 74 

[Chapter XVI: Those Going Among the Saracens and Other Nonbelievers]a

1The Lord says: Behold I am sending you like sheep in the midst of wolves. Mt 10:16 2Therefore, be prudent as serpents and simple as doves. Mt 10:16 3Let any brother, then, who desires by divine inspiration to go among the Saracens and other nonbelievers, go with the permission of his minister and servant.b 4If he sees they are fit to be sent, the minister may give them permission and not oppose them, for he will be bound to render an accounting to the Lord if he has proceeded without discernment in this and other matters.

5As for the brothers who go, they can live spiritually among the Saracens and nonbelievers in two ways. 6One way is not to engage in arguments or disputes but to be subject to every human creature for God’s sake Ti 3:2 2 Tm 2:14 and to acknowledge that they are Christians. 1 Pt 2:13 7The other way is to announce the Word of God, when they see it pleases the Lord, in order that [unbelievers] may believe in almighty God, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, the Creator of all, the Son, the Redeemer and Savior, and be baptized and become Christians because no one can enter the kingdom of God without being reborn of water and the Holy Spirit. Jn 3:5

8They can say to them and the others these and other things which please God because the Lord says in the Gospel: Whoever acknowledges me before others I will acknowledge before my heavenly Father. Mt 10:32 9Whoever is ashamed of me and of my words, the Son of Man will be ashamed of when he comes in his glory and in the glory of the Father. Lk 9:26

10Wherever they may be, let all my brothers remember that they have given themselves and abandoned their bodies to the Lord Jesus Christ. 11For love of Him, they must make themselves vulnerable to their enemies, both visible and invisible, because the Lord says: Whoever loses his life because of me will save it in eternal life. Lk 9:24 Mt 25:46 c 12Blessed are they who suffer persecution for the sake of justice, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Mt 5:10 13If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you. Jn 15:20 14If they persecute you in one town, flee to another. Mt 10:23 Mt 5:11 15Blessed are you when people hate you, Lk 6:22 speak evil of you, persecute, expel, and abuse you, ...

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Regula non bullata, Fontes Franciscani, p. 198-199


[Caput XVI - De euntibus inter saracenos et alios infideles]

1Dicit Dominus: Ecce ego mitto vos sicut oves in medio luporum. 2Estote ergo prudentes sicut serpentes et simplices sicut columbae. 3Unde quicumque frater voluerit ire inter saracenos et alios infideles, vadat de licentia sui ministri et servi . 4Et minister det eis licentiam et non contradicat, si viderit eos idoneos ad mittendum; nam tenebitur Domino reddere rationem, si in hoc vel in aliis processerit indiscrete.

5Fratres vero, qui vadunt, duobus modis inter eos possunt spiritualiter conversari. 6Unus modus est, quod non faciant lites neque contentiones, sed sint subditi omni humanae creaturae propter Deum et confiteantur se esse christianos. 7Alius modus est, quod, cum viderint placere Domino, annuntient verbum Dei, ut credant Deum omnipotentem, Patrem et Filium, et Spiritum Sanctum, creatorem omnium, redemptorem et salvatorem Filium, et ut baptizentur et efficiantur christiani, quia quis renatus non fuerit ex aqua et Spiritu Sancto, non potest intrare in regnum Dei.

8Haec et alia, quae placuerint Domino, ipsis et aliis dicere possunt, quia dicit Dominus in evangelio: Omnis, qui confitebitur me coram hominibus, confitebor et ego eum, coram Patre meo, qui in caelis est. 9Et: Qui erubuerit me et sermones meos, et Filius hominis erubescet eum, cum venerit in maiestate sua et Patris et angelorum.

10Et omnes fratres, ubicumque sunt, recordentur, quod dederunt se et reliquerunt corpora sua Domino Jesu Christo. 11Et pro eius amore debent se.exponere inimicis tam visibilibus quam invisibilibus; quia dicit Dominus: Qui perdiderit animam suam propter me, salvam faciet eam in vitam aeternam. 12Beati qui persecutionem patiuntur propter iustitiam, quoniam ipsorum est regnum caelorum. 13Si me persecuti sunt, et vos persequentur. 14Et: Si persequuntur vos in una civitate, fugite in aliam. 15Beati estis, cum vos oderint homines et maledixerint vobis et persequentur vos et separaverint vos et exprobraverint et eiecerint nomen vestrum tamquam malum et cum dixerint omne malum adversum vos mentientes propter me.

Francis of Assisi: Early Documents, vol. 1, p. 74

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