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Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Francis, go and repair my house which is all destroyed as thou seest

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On a time he entered into the church of S. Damian for to make his prayers, and the image of Jesu Christ spake unto him and said: Francis, go and repair my house which is all destroyed as thou seest. And from that hour the soul of him liquefied, and the passion of Jesu Christ was marvellously infixed in his heart. And then he did great pain, and was busy in repairing the church, and sold all that he had, and gave the money thereof to a priest, and he durst not receive it for fear of his parents and kin. Then he, casting it away tofore the priest as dust, setting not thereby, wherefore he was taken of his father and bound, and he restored to him his money, and resigned also his clothes, and so naked he fled to our Lord, and clad him with hair. And then the blessed Francis went unto a simple man, whom he took instead of his father, and prayed him that like as his father doubled on him his curses, that in contrary he should bless him.

His own brother Germane seeing him in a winter time have on him but foul and few clothes, and that he trembled for cold and was entending to his prayers, said to his fellow: Go to Francis and say to him that he sell to thee a pennyworth of his sweat. And when he heard it he answered with a glad cheer: I will sell it unto my Lord God.

On a day he heard in the church that which our Lord said to his disciples when he sent them to preach, and anon he addressed him with all his might to do and keep all those things; he did off his hosen and shoon from his feet and clad him with a foul coat, and took a cord for his girdle. He went on a time in a snow by a wood, and was taken by thieves, and they demanded him what he was, and he said that he was the messenger of God, and anon they took him and cast him in the snow, saying to him: Lie there, thou villain messenger of God. Many noble and unnoble clerks and laymen had despised the world and begun to follow him, and the holy father enseigned and taught them the perfection of the gospel, which was for to be in poverty, and that they should go by the way of simpleness. He wrote then a rule, after the gospel, to himself and his brethren, had and to be had, which Pope Innocent confirmed.

The Golden Legend on St Francis
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