The Minor Legend - 711 

days on that mountain of solitude were completed and the feast of St. Michael the Archangel arrived. The angelic man, Francis, came down from the mountain bearing the likeness of the Crucified, depicted not on tablets of stone or on panels of wood, but engraved on parts of his flesh by the finger of the living God.

Fifth Lesson

This holy and humble man tried afterwards with all diligence to conceal these sacred marks; nevertheless, it pleased the Lord to reveal through them certain marvelous things for his glory. Their hidden power, therefore, could be made manifest by clear signs and irradiate like a bright star amid the dense darkness of a darkened age. For about the time the holy man stayed on Mount La Verna, for example, dark clouds would form over the mountain and violent hailstorms would devastate the crops. Truly, after that blessed apparition, the normal hail stopped to the amazement and joy of the inhabitants. The very aspect of the sky, tranquil beyond usual, proclaimed the supreme worth of that vision from heaven and the power of the stigmata impressed there.

Sixth Lesson

At that time a very serious plague swept through the province of Rieti and began to afflict the sheep and the cattle to such an extent that almost all of them seemed to languish under an incurable illness. A God-fearing man was admonished by a vision one night to hurry to the brothers' hermitage where the blessed father was then staying and to request from his companions the water he used to wash his hands and feet. He was then to sprinkle this water on the suffering animals and, thereby, put the plague to an end. After the man diligently completed this task, God gave great power to the water which had touched the sacred wounds. Even a little of the water completely drove out the plague from the suffering animals it touched. Once they recovered their former vigor, they ran to their fodder as if they had nothing wrong with them earlier.

Seventh Lesson

Finally, from that time on, those hands attained such marvelous power that their saving touch returned both robust health to the sick and living sensation to limbs now dry and paralytic. What is greater, they restored unimpaired life to those who had been mortally wounded. I will anticipate and recall briefly to mind for you two of




Legenda Minor, Fontes Franciscani, p. 1003-1004

quadraginta dierum numero, iuxta quod decreverat, in monte illo solitudinis consummato, superveniente quoque solemnitate Archangeli Michaelis, descendit angelicus vir Franciscus de monte, 5secum ferens Crucifixi effigiem, non in tabulis lapideis vel ligneis manu figuratam artificis, sed in carneis membris descriptam digito Dei vivi.

Lectio quinta.

5 1Porro licet vir sanctus et humilis sacra illa signacula omni diligentia studeret abscondere, Domino tamen complacuit ad gloriam suam mirabilia quaedam aperta per illa monstrare, ut, dum illorum vis occulta per signa clara patesceret, inter densas caliginosi saeculi tenebras ut sidus praefulgidum radiaret. 2Nam et circa Montem Alvernae praefatum, antequam vir sanctus ibidem moram traxisset, nube obscura ex ipso monte surgente, grandinis violenta tempestas fructus terrae consuetudinarie devastabat. 3Verum post illam apparitionem felicem non sine incolarum admiratione ac gaudio grando consueta cessavit, ut caelestis illius visionis excellentiam et stigmatum ibidem impressorum virtutem serenata praeter morem ipsa caeli facies declararet.

Lectio sexta.

6 1Illo quoque tempore in provincia Reatina pestis valde gravis invaluit, quae oves et boves in tantum coepit invadere, ut viderentur pene omnes irremediabili morbo languere. 2Vir autem quidam timens Deum nocte fuit per visionem commonitus, ut ad eremitorium fratrum, in quo beatus Pater tunc moram trahebat, festinanter accederet loturamque manuum et pedum ipsius impetraret a sociis ac super animalia languida spargeret, et sic pestis omnis illa cessaret. 3Quod cum vir ille diligenter implesset, tantam illi, quae sacras contigerat plagas, contulit Deus aquae virtutem, ut, dum ipsius aspersio languentes greges vel modicum attigisset, omnem illam pestilentiae plagam repelleret, pristinoque recuperato vigore, ad pastum animalia currerent, tamquam si nil mali penitus ante sensissent.

Lectio septima.

7 1Denique tam miram ex tunc consecutae sunt manus illae virtutem, ut suo contactu salvifico et validam redderent sospitatem aegrotis et vivacem sensum paralyticis iam membris et aridis, et quod maius his omnibus est, vitam incolumem letaliter sauciatis. 2Nam ut de pluribus eius prodigiis duo quaedam anticipando simul et perstringendo commemorem,

Francis of Assisi: Early Documents, vol. 2, p. 711