A Mirror of the Perfection (The Sabatier Edition, 1928) - 345 

Chapter Eight


At one time blessed Francis was staying in the hermitage of Greccio. He remained in prayer day and night in the last cell, behind the large cell. One night, during the first sleep, he called his companion who was sleeping near him. And the companion, getting up, went to the entrance of the cell where blessed Francis was staying. The saint said to him: "Brother, I couldn't sleep this whole night, or remain upright and pray; my head and my knees are violently shaking as if I had eaten bread made from rye grass."a His companion talked with him, trying to console him. Blessed Francis said: "I truly believe there's a devil in this pillow I have for my head."

After he left the world, he wanted neither a feather mattress nor a feather pillow. Nevertheless the brothers forced him to have a feather pillow against his will, because of his eye disease. He therefore threw it at his companion who picked it up in his right hand and placed it on his left shoulder. When he left the entrance of the cell, he suddenly lost the power of speech, could not throw the pillow, nor move his arms. There he stood, bereft of his senses. He stood like this for some time until, through the grace of God, blessed Francis called him. Immediately he returned to himself, letting the pillow fall behind his back.

He returned to blessed Francis and told him everything that happened to him.

The saint said to him, "Last night as I was saying compline, I sensed the devil had come into my cell. I see from this that the devil is very cunning. Inasmuch as he could not harm my soul, he wanted to disturb the need of the body by preventing me from sleeping and




Speculum Perfectionis, Fontes Franciscani, p.

Francis of Assisi: Early Documents, vol. 3, p. 345

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