The Life of Blessed Francis - 594 

hour of the night when the holy man usually rose for the divine office, it anticipated him with its noise and song. This pleased God's servant very much because such great concern for him shook out of him all sluggish laziness. But when Christ's servant was more than usually burdened with illness, the falcon would spare him and would not announce such early vigils. As if instructed by God, at about dawn it would ring the bell of its voice with a light touch.

In the joy of the different kinds of birds
and in the song of the falcon,
there certainly seems to have been a divine premonition
of when this praiser and worshiper of God
would be lifted up on the wings of contemplation
and then
would be exalted with a seraphic vision.

11Once while he was staying in the hermitage at Greccio, the people of that place had been stricken by multiple disasters. A pack of raging wolves devoured not only animals, but even people. And every year hailstorms destroyed their wheat field and vineyards. When the herald of the holy Gospel preached to those afflicted in this way, he said to them: "To the praise and honor of Almighty God, I assure you that all the disasters will cease, and the Lord looking down upon you, will multiply your earthly goods. If you believe me, show mercy to yourselves. Once you have made a sincere confession, bring forth fruits worthy of repentance. I tell you again, if you are ungrateful for these gifts, and return to your vomit, the disasters will return, punishment will double, and even greater wrath will rage against you."

From that hour, therefore, once the people did penance at his exhortation, the disasters ceased, the dangers vanished, and neither the wolves nor the hailstorms caused any more harm. Dn 3:50 And even more remarkable, whenever the hail, falling on neighboring fields, reached the boundaries of Greccio, either it would stop or move off in a different direction.

The hail kept the pact of God's servant
as did the wolves;
nor did they try to rage anymore contrary to the law of piety
against people converted to piety,
as long as, according to their agreement,
the people did not act impiously
against God's most pious laws.

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Legenda Maior, Fontes Franciscani, p. 852-853


9Nam semper horam nocturno tempore, in qua vir sanctus ad divina officia surgere solitus erat, cantu suo praeveniebat et sono. 10Quod famulo Dei gratissimum erat, eo quod tanta sollicitudo, quam circa eum gerebat, omnem ab ipso desidiae torporem excuteret. 11Cum vero servus Christi infirmitate plus solito gravaretur, parcebat falco, nec tam tempestivas indicebat vigilias. 12Siquidem, velut instructus a Deo, circa diluculum suae vocis campanam levi tactu pulsabat.

13Divinum certe videtur fuisse praesagium
tam in exsultatione multimodi generis avium
quam in cantu falconis,
cum Dei laudator et cultor pennis contemplationis subvectus,
tunc
foret illic apparitione seraphica sublimandus.

11 1Moram eo faciente tempore quodam in eremitorio Graecii, loci illius indigenae malis multiplicibus vexabantur. 2Nam et luporum rapacium multitudo non solum bruta, sed et homines consumebat, et grando annua tempestate blada et vineas devastabat. 3Dum igitur sic afflictis praeco sacri Evangelii praedicaret, dixit ad eos: 4« Ad honorem et laudem omnipotentis Dei fideiubeo vobis, quod pestilentia haec omnis abscedet, et respiciens vos Dominus multiplicabit in temporalibus bonis, si mihi credentes, misereamini vestri, ut, vera confessione praemissa, dignos faciatis poenitentiae fructus. 5Iterum hoc annuntio vobis quod si beneficiis ingrati ad vomitum conversi fueritis, innovabitur plaga, duplicabitur poena, et maior in vos ira desaeviet ».

6Ab illa itaque hora, poenitentiam ad exhortationem ipsius agentibus illis, cessaverunt clades, periere pericula, nec molestiae quidquam lupi intulere vel grandines. 7Immo, quod maius est, si quando vicinorum arva grando pervaderet, istorum terminis appropinquans, terminabatur ibidem, aut in partem aliam divertebat.

8Servavit grando,
servaverunt et lupi pactionem servi Dei,
nec contra pietatis legem in homines ad pietatem
conversos attentaverunt amplius desaevire,
quamdiu iuxta condictum
contra piissimas
Dei leges impie non egerunt.

Francis of Assisi: Early Documents, vol. 2, p. 594

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