Testament of Saint Francis
The Testament of St. Francis is one of the most important writings left by the saint of Assisi to his brothers.
This spiritual testament drawn up by St. Francis was probably written by the Saint in September 1226.
The Lord granted me, Brother Francis, thus to begin to do penance because, as I was in sin, it seemed too bitter to see lepers and the Lord himself led me among them and I showed them mercy.
And I left them, what had seemed bitter to me was changed into sweetness of soul and body. And then I stayed a while and left the world.
And the Lord gave me such faith in churches, so I just prayed and said: "We adore you, Lord Jesus Christ, in all your churches that are in the world and we bless you because by your holy cross you have redeemed the world".
Then the Lord gave me and gives me such great faith in priests who live according to the shape of the holy Roman Church, by reason of their order, that although I did persecution, I have recourse to them. And if I had as much wisdom as Solomon did it, and I meet in this world of poor priests in parishes where they live, I will not preach against their will.
And these and all other I fear, love and honor as gentlemen. And I will not consider in their sin, because I recognize in them the Son of God and they are my lords. And I do this because of the Most High Son of God I see nothing bodily, in this world, if not the Most Holy Body and Holy Blood which they receive them alone administer to others.
And I want these holy mysteries above all other things are honored, revered and placed in precious places.
And everywhere find manuscripts with the names and holy words of him in indecent places, I collect them, and pray that is collected and placed in suitable place.
And we honor and venerate all theologians and those who administer the holy divine words, as well as those who minister to us spirit and life. And after the Lord gave me brothers, no one showed me what I should do, but the Most High Himself revealed to me that I had to live according to the Holy Gospel. And I did write a few words and simple way, and Mr. Pope confirmed it for me.
And those who came to embrace this life gave to the poor everything they could have, and they were happy with one tunic, patched inside and out, cord and breeches. And they did not want to have more.
We clerics said the office, in line with other clerics, lay people say the Pater Noster, and very glad we stopped in the churches. And we were simple and subject to all. And I worked with my hands and I want to work, and I firmly believe that all the other brothers work for a job which it is agreed to honesty. Those who cannot learn, not for greed receives the reward of work, but to lead by example and take away idleness. Then when there was given the reward of work, we use the Lord's table, begging from door to door.
The Lord revealed to me that we say this greeting: "May the Lord give you peace." Put aside any thoughts of the monks not to accept absolutely churches, poor housing and everything else is built for them, if they were not as befits the holy poverty which we have promised in the Rule, always hosted strangers and pilgrims.
Firmly command for obedience to all the friars, wherever they are, dare not ask for any letter (privilege) in the Roman curia, either personally or through a third party, nor a church nor elsewhere, nor why the preaching or the persecution of their bodies, but will not be accepted anywhere, flee into another land to do penance with the blessing of God.
And I firmly obey the minister general of this fraternity and that the guard who like to assign me. And so I want to be a prisoner in his hands, that I cannot go or do more than obedience and his will because he is my lord. Although it is simple and sick, but I always have a cleric, I recite the office, as is prescribed in the Rule.
And do not tell the brothers: That's another rule, because this is a remembrance, admonition, exhortation, and my will, that I, little Brother Francis, do you, my blessed brothers, because we keep more Catholic Rule we have promised the Lord.
And general minister and other ministers keepers are bound to obedience, not to add and not remove anything from these words.
And always take with you this letter together with the Rule. And in all the chapters are, when they read the Rule, also read these words.
And to all my brothers, clergy and laity, firmly command for obedience, which do not include explanations in the Rule and these words, saying: "So you must understand" but as the Lord gave me to speak and write with ease and purity of the Rule and these words, so try to understand them simply and without comment and observe them with holy works until the end.
And whoever observes all this, is filled with the blessing of the Father in heaven and on earth is filled with the blessing of His beloved Son with the Blessed Paraclete and all the powers of heaven and all the Saints. And I, little Brother Francis, your servant, for what little I can, I confirm to you in and out of this most holy blessing.