The Treatise on the Miracles of Saint Francis - 427 

blessed Francis healed me of all the sickness, and ordered me to tell no one until this hour." The name of Francis was cause for surprise and joy for them, just as the devil was cause for flight. They encouraged the girl right away to eat some chicken, but shaking her head she refused to eat because it was the Great Lent. "Do not be afraid," she said. "Don't you see Saint Francis dressed in white? He is commanding me not to eat meat because it is Lent, and to offer the funeral tunic to a certain woman in prison. Look, you can see him leaving!"

53In Nettuno, there were three women in a house. One of them was devoted to the brothers and most devoted to Saint Francis. A great wind shook the house, demolished it, and crushed, killed, and buried two of them. Blessed Francis quickly arrived at a silent request, and did not allow the one devoted to him to suffer any harm. For the wall to which she clung remained intact to her height; a beam fell on it from above in such a way that it bore all the weight of the falling debris. People heard the crash of the collapse and came running. For the two deceased there were tears; for the surviving friend of the brothers all gave thanks to Saint Francis.

54Cornetoa is a powerful and not an unimportant town in the diocese of Viterbo. There a bell of no small size was to be cast at the brothers' place, and many of the brothers' friends had gathered to contribute their help to the project. When the casting was completed, with great rejoicing a grand banquet began. Then an eight-year-old boy named Bartolomeo, whose father and uncle had worked devotedly on the casting, carried in a gift for those at the banquet. All of a sudden a great wind came up and shook the house; with great force it blew down the large, heavy door of the house onto the boy. It was feared that its weight pressing upon him had crushed him to death. He was so completely buried under its weight that nothing of him could be seen from the outside. The work of the foundry turned into confounding,b and the lament of mourners replaced the festivity of the banquet.

Everyone rushed from the table; the uncle dashed with some others to the door, calling on Saint Francis. The father, however, could not move, his limbs frozen from grief. Vowing out loud, he offered his son to Saint Francis. The deadly weight was lifted off the boy, and there he was! The one they thought was dead appeared cheerful, like someone waking from sleep, with no sign of injury. After the

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Francis of Assisi: Early Documents, vol. 2, p. 427

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