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 The Treatise on the Miracles of Saint Francis - 425 

the guard was sleeping soundly at the very top of the tower. He lay upon a pile of wood on the top edge of the wall. Then the pulley either came loose or broke at its base and, in a flash, he fell along with the planks onto the roof of the palace, and from there to the ground. The loud crash awoke the whole family and, suspecting hostile action, the knight got up and went out armed. He shook his drawn sword over the prone man, intending to strike the sleeping man, since he did not recognize him as the guard. But the wife of the knight feared that this might be her brother—her husband hated him to death, so she stopped him from wounding the man, throwing herself upon the prostrate man in loyal defense. What an amazing sleeping potion! The sleeping man never woke, either at his double fall nor at the loud noise.

Finally he was shaken awake with a gentle hand, and as if deprived of pleasant rest he said to his lord, "Why are you disturbing my sleep now? I have never rested so easily; I was sleeping sweetly in the arms of blessed Francis."

When he learned from the others about his fall, and he saw himself on the ground, not up above where he was lying, he was amazed that he had not felt what had happened. He then promised publicly to do penance, and his master gave him permission to set out on a pilgrimage. The lady sent a beautiful priestly vestment to the brothers staying in her hometown outside the City, out of reverence and honor for the saint. The Scriptures promise a great reward for hospitality, and examples confirm it. For the lord in question had that night given hospitality to two Lesser Brothers, out of reverence for Saint Francis. They had also been among those who ran out when that servant fell.

50In the town of Pofi, located in Campagna, a priest named Tommaso went with many others to repair a mill belonging to his church. Below the mill was a deep gorge, and the raised channel flowed rapidly. The priest carelessly walked along the edge of the channel, and accidentally fell into it. In an instant he was thrust by force against the wooden blades that turned the mill. There he remained, pinned against the wood, unable to move at all. Because he was lying face down the flow of water pitiably muffled his voice and blocked his sight. But his heart, if not his tongue, was free to call plaintively on Saint Francis.

He remained there a long time, and his companions, rushing back to him, nearly despaired of his life. "Let's turn the mill by force in the opposite direction," said the miller, "so it will release the corpse." With a struggle they turned the mill in reverse, and they saw the trembling body thrown into the water.



Francis of Assisi: Early Documents, vol. 2, p. 425

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