The Treatise on the Miracles of Saint Francis - 415 

32Larks are birds that are the friends of light and dread the shadows of dusk. But in the evening when Saint Francis passed from this world to Christ, when it was already twilight of nightfall, they gathered above the roof of the house, where they circled about noisily for a long while. Whether they were showing their joy or their sadness with their song, we do not know. They sang with tearful joy and joyful tears, either to mourn the orphaned children, or to indicate the father's approach to eternal glory. The city watchmen who were guarding the place with great care were amazed and called others to admire this.

Chapter V
DIVINE MERCY WAS
ALWAYS RESPONSIVE TO FRANCIS'S REQUESTS

33 Not only did creatures offer this man their services at his wish, but even the providence of the Creator everywhere consented to do his pleasure. That fatherly mercy anticipated his wishes and ran, as it were, to foresee his needs. His lack and its filling were one, his wish and its fulfillment.

In the sixth year of his conversion, burning with the desire for holy martyrdom, he wished to take a ship to the region of Syria. But after he had boarded a ship to go there, contrary winds started blowing, and he found himself with his fellow travelers on the shores of Slavonia.

When he realized that he had been cheated of what he desired, after a while he begged some sailors going to Ancona to transport him with them. But the sailors stubbornly refused to do so since he could not pay them. The holy one of God, trusting God's goodness, secretly boarded the ship with his companion. Immediately, by divine providence, a man arrived—no one knew him—who brought the food needed. He called over a person from the ship, a God-fearing man. "Take with you all these things," he said, "and in their time of need Sir 8:12 faithfully give them to those poor men hiding in your ship."

A great storm arose and they had to spend many days laboring at the oars Mk 6:48. They had used up all their food. Only the food of the poor Francis remained. Owing to divine grace and power, his food multiplied so much that, although there were still many days of sailing remaining, it fully supplied the needs of them all until they reached the port of Ancona. When the sailors realized that they had escaped the dangers of the sea through God's servant Francis, and that they received through him what they had denied to him, they

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Francis of Assisi: Early Documents, vol. 2, p. 415

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