The Assisi Compilation - 224 

[117]
[HE IS BEATEN BY DEMONS WHILE STAYING IN A TOWER OF CARDINAL LEO OF SANTA CROCE]

Blessed Francis once went to Rome to visit the Lord Hugolino, the bishop of Ostia, who later became pope, and stayed with him a few days, and with his permission he visited Lord Leo, Cardinal of the Santa Croce, who was a very kind and courtly man.a He was happy to see blessed Francis whom he greatly revered. With great devotion, he asked him to spend a few days with him, especially because it was winter and very cold and almost every day there was heavy wind and rain, as happens during that season.

"Brother," he said to him, "this weather is unsuitable for traveling. If it is agreeable to you, I want you to stay with me until there is good weather for travel. Since I feed a number of poor people in my house, you will receive food from me in place of one poor person." The Lord Cardinal said this, knowing that blessed Francis, because of his humility, always wanted to be received wherever he lodged as a poor person. And yet his holiness was so outstanding that the Lord Pope, the cardinals, and all the mighty of this world who knew him venerated him as a saint. And he added: "I will give you a good remote house where you can pray and eat if you wish."

Brother Angelo Tancredi, one of the first twelve brothers, was staying with the cardinal. He said to blessed Francis: "Brother, near here there is a beautiful tower on the city walls, quite ample and spacious on the inside, with nine chambers where you can stay as removed as in a hermitage."

"Let us go to see it," blessed Francis told him. On seeing it, he liked it, and returning to the Lord Cardinal said to him: "Lord, perhaps I will stay with you a few days." The Lord Cardinal was pleased.

So Brother Angelo went and prepared it so blessed Francis could stay there night and day with his companion. Blessed Francis did not wish to come down day or night as long as he was staying with the Lord Cardinal. Brother Angelo suggested that he bring food for blessed Francis and his companion each day, leaving it outside, for neither he nor any other was supposed to enter.

Blessed Francis went to stay there with his companion. But when he wanted to sleep there on the first night, demons came and beat him severely. He immediately called his companion who was staying some distance away: "Come to me." He got up at once and came to

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Compilatio Assisiensis, Fontes Franciscani, p. 1677-1680


[117]

1Quodam tempore beatus Franciscus iverat Romam ad visitandum dominum Hugonem, episcopum Hostiensem, qui postea fuit papa, et mansit cum eo per aliquot dies, et licentiatus ab eo apostolico, visitavit dominum Leonem, cardinalem sancte Crucis. 2Erat enim ille cardinalis valde benignus et curialis homo et libenter videbat beatum Franciscum et nimis venerabatur eum. 3Et rogavit ipsum cum omnimoda devotione ut maneret secum per aliquot dies, maxime quia tunc erat hiems et magnum frigus et quasi cotidie erant magni venti et pluvie, sicut solent esse illo tempore.

4Et dixit ad eum: « Frater, est ineptum tempus ad ambulandum. 5Volo, si tibi placet, ut maneas mecum usquedum erit bonum tempus ad ambulandum; cum cotidie pascam certos pauperes in domo mea, recipies victum a me vice unius pauperis ». 6Hoc autem dixit dominus cardinalis, quia sciebat beatum Franciscum propter suam humilitatem semper velle recipi ubicumque hospitaretur tamquam pauperculus, licet esset tante sanctitatis, ut a domino papa et cardinalibus et ab omnibus magnatibus huius seculi, qui cognoscebant ipsum, veneraretur ut sanctus. 7Item dixit: « Dabo tibi bonam domum remotam, ubi poteris orare et comedere, si volueris ».

8Erat autem cum domino cardinali frater Angelus de Tancredo, unus de .XII. primis fratribus. 9Qui dixit ad beatum Franciscum: « Frater, est prope hic in muro urbis una pulchra turris valde ampla et spatiosa interius et habet .IX. testudines, in quibus manere poteris remote quasi in heremitorio ».

10Et ait ei beatus Franciscus: « Eamus ad videndum eam ». 11Ut autem vidit eam placuit ei; et reversus est ad dominum cardinalem dicens ei: « Domine, forsitan manebo apud vos per aliquot dies ». 12Et gavisus est inde dominus cardinalis.

13Ivit ergo frater Angelus et aptavit eam, ut posset beatus Franciscus cum suo socio manere ibi de die et nocte. 14Nolebat enim inde descendere beatus Franciscus per diem et noctem, donec maneret apud dominum cardinalem. 15Nam proposuit frater Angelus beato Francisco et socio eius cotidie de foris portare comestionem, quoniam nec ipse nec alius debebat ad ipsum introire.

16Ivit ergo illuc ad manendum beatus Franciscus cum socio suo. 17Cum autem in prima nocte vellet ibi dormire, venerunt demones et fortiter eum verberaverunt. 18Qui statim vocavit socium suum, qui manebat longe ab ipso, dicens: « Veni ad me ». 19Et statim surrexit et ivit ad eum.

Francis of Assisi: Early Documents, vol. 2, p. 224

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