The Franciscan Greeting

At the beginning of the Order, when Saint Francis was going with a brother who was one of the first twelve, that brother greeted the men and women on the way and those that were in the fields, saying, 'The Lord give you peace' [which was the greeting that the Lord had revealed to Saint Francis for the brethren to use]. And because people had never before heard such greeting given by any Religious, they wondered greatly at it. Indeed, some would say angrily to the brethren, 'What do you mean by this greeting of yours?' So that brother began to be ashamed of it, and said to Saint Francis, 'Let me give a different greeting.'

But Saint Francis replied, 'Let them talk, for they perceive not the things that are of God. But do not be ashamed, for nobles and princes of this world shall yet show reverence to you and the other brethren for this greeting. For it is no great thing if the Lord has chosen for Himself a new and small people, unequalled among all that have gone before, and unlike them in life and speech - a people who should be content to have naught but Him alone who is most sweet.'

- text taken from Franciscan Days: being selections for every day in the year from ancient Franciscan writings, translated and arranged by Alan George Ferrers Howell