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 The Treatise on the Miracles of Saint Francis - 416 

gave thanks to almighty God Sir 50:19, who is always revealed through his servants as awesome and loving.

34Saint Francis became gravely ill while returning from Spain after failing to reach Morocco as he had wished.a Suffering from want and weariness, he was expelled from his lodging by a rude host and lost his speech for three days. When he had recovered his strength a bit, while walking along the road he said to Brother Bernard that he would have eaten a bit of a bird if he had one. Just then a horseman came riding across the field carrying an exquisite bird. He said to blessed Francis, "Here, servant of God, take gladly what divine mercy sends you." He accepted this gift with joy and, seeing how Christ cared for him, he blessed Him for everything.

35While he lay sick in the bishop's palace at Rieti, the father of the poor Jb 29:16 was dressed in an old tunic. One day he said to one of his companions, whom he had made his guardian: "Brother, if possible, I wish you would find me material for a tunic. "On hearing this, the brother started turning over in his mind how he could get the necessary cloth so humbly requested. The next day at the break of dawn he went to the door, on his way to town for the cloth. There he found a man sitting on the doorstep and wishing to speak to him. This man said to the brother: "For the love of the Lord, brother, please accept this cloth, enough for six tunics; keep one for yourself and distribute the rest as you please for the good of my soul." The brother was overjoyed, and returned to Brother Francis, announcing to him the gift sent from heaven. And our father said: "Accept the tunics, for this man was sent to care for my need in this way." And he added: "Thanks be to him who seems to be the only one concerned for us. "

36While the holy man was staying in a hermitage near Rieti, a physician used to visit him every day to treat his eyes. One day the saint said to his brothers: "Invite the doctor, and give him a good meal." The guardian answered him: "Father, we're embarrassed to say this, but we're ashamed to invite him, because right now we're so poor." But the saint answered: "Do you want me to tell you again?" And the doctor, who was nearby, said: "Dear brothers, I would consider it a treat to share in your poverty." The brothers hurried to place the whole contents of their storeroom on the table: a little bread, and not much wine, and, to make the meal more lavish, the kitchen provided a few beans. Meanwhile, the table of the Lord took pity on the table of his servants. Someone knocked at the door,  and

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Francis of Assisi: Early Documents, vol. 2, p. 416

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