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 The Treatise on the Miracles of Saint Francis - 429 

one doubted that the hand of Francis was involved. The man stood up unharmed; he who was almost dead revived completely. He recovered his eyesight as well, which earlier had been dimmed: further proof to all of the power of Francis in desperate cases.

58A similar incident worth remembering happened at San Severino in the Marches. A huge stone from Constantinople was being transported to Assisi for the construction of a fountain in honor of Saint Francis. With the efforts of many it was being dragged along at a rapid pace when a man fell beneath it. He appeared to be not just dead, but totally crushed.

At once Saint Francis arrived, as it seemed to him and as it turned out to be true, lifting the stone and thrusting it aside without any injury to him. So it happened that what looked horrible turned into something astonishing to all.

59Bartolomeo, a citizen of Gaeta,a was hard at work on the construction of the church of Blessed Francis. He was trying to position one of the building's beams, but the beam, poorly positioned, fell and crushed his neck severely. He was bleeding profusely, and with trembling breath he asked one of the brothers for Viaticum. The brother was not immediately able to find it, and thinking he would die at any moment, he quoted to him the words of blessed Augustine, "Believe, and you have eaten."b

That night blessed Francis appeared to him with eleven brothers; he carried a little lamb between his breasts. He approached the bed, called him by name, and said, "Do not fear, Bartolomeo, the enemy will not prevail against you. He wanted to keep you from my service, but you will arise in good health! Here is the lamb you asked for: you have received it because of your good desire. That brother gave you good advice!" Then drawing his hand across the wounds, he told him to return to the work he had begun.

The man got up very early the next morning, and the workers who had left him half-dead were shocked and amazed when he appeared, healthy and unharmed. Because there seemed to be no hope for his recovery, they thought they were seeing a ghost, neither man nor flesh, but a spirit. (Since there has been mention of the construction of buildings in honor of this saint, I thought it only right to include here another extraordinary miracle.)

60Two Lesser Brothers once undertook to build a church in honor of the holy father Francis in the town of Peschici in the diocese of

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Francis of Assisi: Early Documents, vol. 2, p. 429

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