"Our Lord has himself told me that he wishes me to be his poor little fool in this world, and I will not follow, nor allow those who belong to me to follow, any other road to heaven than this one, which, although it may appear folly to the world, is true wisdom in the sight of God."
St. Francis of Assisi
And that [Francis] might make himself contemptible to all, he was not ashamed when preaching to manifest his defects before all the people.
And because they possessed nothing earthly, and feared to lose nothing earthly, they were secure in all places; troubled by no fears, distracted by no cares, they lived without trouble of mind, waited without solicitude for the coming day, or the nights lodging. Many sufferings and insults were inflicted upon them in divers parts of the world, as on men unknown, vile and of no account; but the love of the Gospel of Christ had given them so much patience, that they sought rather to be where they might endure persecution in the body, than where (their sanctity being known) they might receive honor and favor from the world.
And he said that the brother is to be preferred, who, being simple and slow of speech, excites others to good by the force of his good example, and he gave this explanation of the verse: "The barren hath borne many children. "The barren," he said, "is a poor little friar, who has no office to bring forth children in the Church; but he shall bring forth many in the last judgment, for they who are now converted to Christ by his secret prayers shall then be ascribed by the Judge to his glory. He who hath borne many children hath become weak; that is, the vain and loquacious preacher who rejoices now in many children, begotten (as he believes) by his own virtue, shall then acknowledge that he has no part in them."