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From the book "From the land of Assisi and Francis the Spirit of prophecy"

of Massimo Coppo



(chapter 9)


It was the Lord who took care of giving a Rule to our so ‘irregular’ Community: and it was the Rule of St. Benedict. Many, hearing of a Community of Benedictine inspiration coming into existence in ultra-Franciscan Assisi, ask me: “Why on earth?”  I reply:  “Because that’s the way God wanted it”; and that is not just a figure of speech.

Of the many precious revelations that have marked the spiritual journey of Marcello, and of the Community with him, this is the one that gives me most pleasure to relate, because it seems to me to be of great spiritual significance and also because I was directly involved in it. One day Marcello told me that the Lord had shown him a book to read, written by a “certain St. Gregory”: a book which had had great success in every century (in short: a best-seller!). It will never cease to surprise me how, at times, God almost seems to be playing with souls who entrust themselves to Him in all simplicity: as was Marcello, who was searching for the wisdom of God to be able to help those united with him in that eventful spiritual adven-ture.

St. Gregory the Great! The great Benedictine Pope who lived at the end of the VIth Century, the fourth and last of the Fathers of the Western Church.  The relevant vision had been most profound and charged with spiritual significance it can be read in full on the internet where we felt that it should be published, together with other spiritual ‘pearls’. The fact is that Marcello sent me to the ‘Fonteviva’ religious bookshop in Assisi to look for this important book. Running the bookshop was Fr. Aldo Brunacci, dean of the cathedral priests, holder of an important decoration conferred by the President of the Republic for having lavishly done everything in his power, during the last war, to save the persecuted Jews. “How’s your prophet getting on?” he asked me kindly.  When I gave him the information I had from Marcello, he told me to take him

St. Gregory’s Pastoral Rule,  his best known book, intended for bi-shops and turning out, over the centuries, to be a veritable treasure for popes, kings, princes and all in a position to govern. A most important manual for the direction of souls. From the Pastoral Rule Marcello went on to read the Rule of St. Benedict which St. Gregory has handed down to us in the second book of his Dialogues. It was in this way that the Community modelled itself on the Benedictine Rule:  ‘Ora et Labora’ (Pray and Work).