A Mirror of the Perfection (The Sabatier Edition, 1928) - 359 

Chapter Ten
DIVINE PROVIDENCE FOR HIM IN EXTERNALS

110
FIRST, HOW THE LORD PROVIDED FOR THE BROTHERS SITTING AT A POORLY PREPARED TABLE WITH A DOCTOR

When blessed Francis was in the hermitage of the brothers at Fonte Colombo near Rieti because of the disease of his eyes, one day the eye doctora visited him. After staying there for some time and by now ready to leave, blessed Francis said to one of his companions: "Go and give the doctor the best to eat." "Father," his companion answered, "we're ashamed to say that, because we're so poor now we'd be ashamed to invite him to eat." Blessed Francis told his companions: "O you of little faith! Don't make me tell you again!"

The doctor said to blessed Francis and his companions: "Brother, it is because the brothers are so poor that I am happy to eat with them." For the doctor was very rich and, although blessed Francis and his companions had often invited him, he never wanted to eat there.

The brothers went and set the table. With embarrassment, they placed the little bread and wine they had as well as the few greens they had prepared for themselves.

When they had sat down at the little poor table and were beginning to eat, there was a knock on the door of the place. One of the brothers rose, went, and opened the door. And there was a woman with a large basket filled with beautiful bread, fish, crab-cakes, honey, and freshly picked grapes, which had been sent to brother Francis by a lady of a town about seven miles away.

When they all saw this, the brothers and the doctor were greatly amazed and greatly overjoyed. Realizing the holiness of blessed Francis, and attributing the whole incident to his merits, the doctor told them, "My brothers, neither you nor we sufficiently recognize the holiness of this man."

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Speculum Perfectionis, Fontes Franciscani, p.


Francis of Assisi: Early Documents, vol. 3, p. 359

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