The Assisi Compilation - 227 

ered beloved by the Lord to ask Him to show them His will, whether he should go through the world preaching or stay for a while in a remote place to pray.

In early morning at dawn, while he stood in prayer, birds of various kinds came over the cell where he was staying. They did not come altogether, but first one would come and sing its sweet verse, and then go away, and another one come and sing and go away. They all did the same.

Blessed Francis was very happy at this and received great consolation from it. But when he began to meditate on what this might be, the Lord told him in spirit: "This is a sign that the Lord will do good for you in this cell and give you many consolations."

This was really true. Among all the consolations, hidden and manifest, which the Lord granted him, there was shown to him by the Lord a vision of a Seraph, from which, for the whole time of his life, he had great consolation in his soul between himself and the Lord. And it happened that while his companion brought him food that day, he told him everything that happened to him.

And, although he had many consolations in that cell, demons also gave him many trials at night, as he himself told his companion. That is why he once said: "If the brothers knew how many trials the demons cause me, there would not be one of them who would not have great piety and compassion for me."

As a result, as he often said to his companions, he was unable by himself to satisfy the brothers or sometimes to show them the friendliness which the brothers desired.

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[HE IS TORMENTED BY A DEMON IN A FEATHER PILLOW AT GRECCIO]

At one time blessed Francis was staying in the hermitage of Greccio. He remained in prayer day and night in the last cell, behind the large cell. One night, during the first sleep, he called his companion who was sleeping near him in the old, large cell. The brother got up immediately and went to him, and entered the yard of that little cell, next to the door, where blessed Francis was lying inside.

Blessed Francis said to him: "Brother I couldn't sleep this whole night, or remain upright and pray; my head and my knees are shaking as if I had eaten bread made from rye grass."

His companion talked with him, trying to console him. Blessed Francis said: "I believe there's a devil in this pillow I have for my head."

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Compilatio Assisiensis, Fontes Franciscani, p. 1683-1685


qui sibi dilecti a Domino videbantur, hos faciebat rogare Dominum ut ostenderet illis suam voluntatem, utrum deberet ire per mundum predicando, an aliquando maneret in aliquo remoto loco ad orationem.

9Et summo mane in aurora, cum staret in oratione de diversis generibus aves venerunt super cellam ubi manebat, non coadunate simul, sed prius veniebat una et cantabat, dulcem faciendo versum suum, et postea recedebat; 10et alia veniebat et cantabat et recedebat; et sic omnes fecerunt.

11Et plurimum de hoc admiratus est beatus Franciscus et habuit inde maximam consolationem; sed cepit meditari quid hoc esset. 12Et dictum fuit ei a Domino in spiritu: « Hoc signum est quod Dominus bene faciet tibi in cella ista et multas dabit consolationes ».

13Quod ita verum fuit; nam inter alias multas consolationes occultas et manifestas, quas sibi contulit Dominus, ostensa est sibi a Domino visio Seraphyn, de qua multam habuit consolationem in anima sua inter se et Dominum toto tempore vite sue. 14Et factum est, dum socius eius portaret ei comestionem ipso die, narravit ei omnia que sibi acciderant.

15Et licet habuerit multas consolationes in cella illa, multas [tamen] tribulationes fecerunt sibi de nocte demones, sicut idem socio suo narravit. 16Unde quadam vice dixit: « Si scirent fratres quot tribulationes faciunt michi demones, nullus esset illorum quin pietatem magnam et compassionem de me haberet ».

17Et ideo sicut multotiens dixit sociis suis, non poterat de se satisfacere fratribus et ostendere illis aliquando familiaritatem sicut fratres desiderabant.

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1Quodam tempore beatus Franciscus manebat in heremitorio Grecii. 2Et cum maneret ad orationem de die et nocte in cella ultima post cellam maiorem, quadam nocte in primo somno vocavit socium suum, qui iacebat prope ipsum in cella maiori et antiqua. 3Qui statim surrexit et ivit ad eum, et introivit atrium illius cellule iuxta ostium, ubi deintus iacebat beatus Franciscus.

4Et ait beatus Franciscus ad eum: « Frater, non potui dormire hac nocte neque stare rectus ad orationem; nam caput et crura tremunt michi, et videtur michi quod comederim panem de lolio ».

5Et socius eius loquebatur secum de huiusmodi sibi compatiendo. 6Et ait beatus Franciscus: « Ego credo quod diabolus manebat in hoc pulvinari quod habeo ad caput ».

Francis of Assisi: Early Documents, vol. 2, p. 227

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