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 The Miracles Shown after His Death - 669 

pain. The dead fetus was causing the mother's death, and the abortive offspring, still not brought to light, was an obvious threat to the mother. The help of doctors proved fruitless; every human remedy labored in vain. Ps 127:1 [Vulgate, Ps 126:1] Thus did the ancient curse fall heavily upon the unfortunate woman. Her womb became a grave, and she certainly awaited the grave soon. Finally, by means of messengers, she entrusted herself with great devotion to the Lesser Brothers. She humbly asked in great faith some relic of Saint Francis. By divine consent a piece of a cord was found, one that the saint had once worn. As soon as the cord was placed on the suffering woman, all her pain was relieved with ease. The dead fetus, cause of death, was released and the woman was restored to her former health.

3Giuliana, wife of a nobleman of Calvi, passed a number of years in mourning over the death of her children: she constantly mourned those unhappy events. All the children she had carried with pain, after a short time, and with even greater anguish, she had carried to the grave. So when she was four months with child, because of her earlier experiences, she was more concerned for the death of the offspring she had conceived than about its birth. She faithfully prayed to the blessed father Francis for the life of her unborn fetus. Then one night as she slept, a woman appeared to her in a dream. The woman carried a beautiful infant in her hands and joyfully offered him to her. But she was reluctant to accept something that she feared she would soon lose. So that woman added, "Take this child confidently; the one that Holy Francis sends to you, out of compassion for your grief, shall surely live and enjoy good health." The woman immediately awoke and understood from the heaven-sent vision that the help of Saint Francis was with her, and from that moment was filled with more abundant joy. She increased her prayers and offered vows for having a child, according to the promise. The time for delivery arrived and the woman gave birth to a son. He thrived in the vigor of youthful age and, as he had received the kindling of life through the merits of blessed Francis, he offered his parents a stimulus for more devoted affection for Christ and His saint.

The blessed father did something similar to this in the city of Tivoli. A woman had borne several daughters. She was worn out by the desire for male offspring, and groaned prayers and vows before saint Francis. The woman then conceived through his merits, and the one she had implored allowed her to bear twin boys, even though he had been asked for only one.

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Legenda Maior, Fontes Franciscani, p. 939-941


2Mortuus foetus matrem cogebat ad mortem, et nondum in lucem proditum abortivum, publicum matris periculum pariebat. 3Tentabat medicorum auxilium, sed omne humanum remedium laborabat in vanum. 4Sic de primis maledictionibus copiosius aliquid declinarat in miseram, ut, sepulcrum facta conceptus, sepulcrum pro certo proximum exspectaret. 5Fratribus tandem Minoribus per internuntios tota se devotione committens, suppliciter aliquid de sancti Francisci reliquiis fide plena poposcit. 6Contigit, nutu divino aliquantulum inveniri de chorda, qua fuerat Sanctus quandoque praecinctus. 7Mox, ut super dolentem posita chorda fuit, omnis facillime solutus est dolor, mortis causa mortuus foetus emissus, pristina sanitas restituta.

3 1Cuiusdam de Carvio nobilis viri uxor, Iuliana nomine, pro filiorum morte annos trahebat lugubres et continue infelices deplorabat eventus, pro eo quod omnes quos cum pressura portaverat filios, modico interiecto tempore, cum vehementiore dolore sepulturae tradiderat. 2Cum igitur quatuor mensium conceptura haberet in utero magisque propter eventus praeteritos de conceptae prolis sollicitaretur obitu quam de ortu, beatum Patrem Franciscum pro vita nondum nati foetus fideliter precabatur. 3Ecce autem, nocte quadam dormienti sibi mulier quaedam apparebat in somnis, formosum puerulum gestans in manibus, illumque laetissime offerebat eidem. 4Cum vero illa recipere recusaret, quem statim formidabat amittere, mulier illa subiunxit: « Secure suscipias, quia quem, tuo moerori compatiens, sacer mittit, Franciscus, vita vivet et sospitate gaudebit ». 5Statim evigilans mulier intellexit per ostensam sibi caelitus visionem, beati Franciscisibi adesse suffragium, et ex tunc abundantiore completa laetitia, pro suscipienda prole iuxta promissum multiplicavit preces et vota promisit. 6Impletum est denique tempus pariendi, et peperit femina masculum, qui iuvenilis robore florens aetatis, tamquam per beati Francisci merita fomentum susciperet vitae, incitamentum parentibus praebuit ad Christum et Sanctum eius devotioris affectus.

7Simile quiddam huic in Tiburis civitate beatus Pater effecit. 8Cum enim mulier quaedam filias plurimas peperisset, desiderio prolis fatigata virilis, apud sanctum Franciscum preces ingeminavit et vota. 9Concepit igitur eius meritis mulier illa, et geminos ei parere dedit qui pro uno fuerat exoratus.

Francis of Assisi: Early Documents, vol. 2, p. 669

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