A Book of the Praises of Saint Francis (1277-1283) - 50 

should be burning with life and holiness so brightly, that by the light Jn 5:35 of example and the tongue of his conduct, he will rebuke all the wicked. In that way, the brightness of his life and the fragrance of his reputation will proclaim their wickedness to all of them."

14He taught not only by example, but also by word strengthened by the miraculous signs which you will find in his life. I refer to what is known to have happened at Alessandria in Lombardy. He was invited by a God-fearing man and asked to eat of everything set before him, in observance of the holy gospel. A piece of capon was placed on the table just as a man was at the door fraudulently seeking help for God's sake. Once he heard the Lord's name, the saint gave him a piece of capon on some bread. The wretch kept it and while the saint was preaching the next day, he shouted to the people: "This is what this Francis is like, whom you honor as a saint. Look at this meat that he gave me last night when he was eating." Then what he maintained was a piece of capon was seen to be fish so everyone chided him. At last that wretched man, dumbfounded by the miracle, was forced to confess what the others acknowledged, and, before everyone, he asked the saint's pardon, admitting his bad will. The meat returned to its own kind, after the liar returned to Is 46:8 his right mind.

21The saint was brilliant with great power in expelling demons and the grace of healing. For his deeds were especially in the power of the cross. Through the sign of the cross he gave sight to the blind, cast out demons, and healed various illnesses. At Orte someone had a tumor the size of a large loaf of bread between his shoulders. When he was blessed by him, he was instantly so fully cured that not a trace of his tumor remained.

24The fervent devotion of people very often offered bread and other food for him to bless. These they kept for a long time, preserved from spoiling by divine gift; when they were eaten bodily illnesses were healed. It has even been proven that such foods had the power to ward off violent thunderstorms and hailstorms. Many claim that through the cord that he wore and patches from his clothes, illnesses were, in the same way, put to flight, fevers ceased, and long-sought health returned.

27Once he accepted the hospitality of a knight whose only son had drowned. The youth's body had been sought for a long time but never found. He was distressed at the weeping of the mourners at the boy's funeral. But now the time was at hand when Christ would show forth His wonders in confirmation of the true faith that the holy man was preaching to those who, customarily, poured out their pious and devout prayers to him. By pointing out the spot where he was entangled in the river by his clothes, and, after calling upon Him

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Liber de Laudibus Beati Francisci, Fontes Franciscani, p. 1271-1272


quod servus Dei sic debet vita et sanctitate ardere in se, ut luce exempli et lingua conversationis omnes impios reprehendat. 13Sic enim, splendor vitae eius et odor famae ipsius annuntiabit omnibus iniquitatem eorum ».

14Ipse quidem non solum docebat exemplo, verum etiam verbo signis sequentibus confirmato, de quibus in vita ipsius invenies. 15Tango quod apud Alexandriam Lombardiae vulgatum est contigisse. 16Invitatus a quodam Deum timente rogatusque, ut propter sancti Evangelii observantiam de omnibus appositis manducaret, ad mensam appositum sibi membrum caponis cuidam ad ostium propter Deum sibi subveniri simulate petenti, audito Dei nomine, suppositum pani transmisit. 17Quod ille nequam reservans, sancto in crastinum praedicante, clamavit in populo dicens: « Talis est Franciscus iste, quem honoratis ut Sanctum. 18Videte carnes, quas mihi sero, cum comederet, dedit ». 19Tunc eum increpantibus omnibus, eo quod piscis videbatur quod asserebat membrum caponis, tandem et ipse miser obstupefactus miraculo, compulsus est confiteri quod ceteri fatebantur et coram omnibus veniam postulavit a Sancto exponens, quam habuerat nefariam voluntatem. 20Redierunt autem carnes ad suam speciem, postquam rediit praevaricator ad mentem.

21In expulsione daemonum et gratia sanitatum magna Sanctus potentia claruit. 22In cruce maxime eius opera erant. Nam per signum crucis caecos illuminavit, pellebat daemones variosque remediabat languores. 23Apud Ortas vir quidam strumam ad similitudinem magni panis inter scapulas gerens ab eo signatus sic fuit subito plenarie liberatus, ut nec vestigium aliquod remaneret.

24Sed et populorum fervens devotio panes ei et res comestibiles ad benedicendum saepius offerebat, quibus longo tempore divino munere sine corruptione servatis, ad eorum gustum corpora morbida curabantur. 25Nam et probatum est, pervalidas tonitruorum et grandinum tempestates horum virtute repelli. 26sic a chordae vel vestium eius tactione fugabantur morbi, fugiebant febres et salus concupita redibat.

27Cum venisset ipse ad militis cuiusdam hospitium, cuius unicus filius submersus et diu quaesitus, non poterat inveniri funebrium iuvenis, et lugentium gemitibus pio ut erat pectore miseratus, cum iam tempus adesset, quo sua Christus mirabilia pro fidei catholicae quam vir sanctus praedicabat confirmatione ostenderet, 28fusis ad eum sicut piis ita et devotis, ut consueverat, precibus, et certum locum, quo mortuus per vestem detinebatur in flumine, designando et inventum, illo qui suscitat mortuos invocato,

Francis of Assisi: Early Documents, vol. 3, p. 50

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