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 A Mirror of the Perfection (The Sabatier Edition, 1928) - 360 

111
THE FISH HE CRAVED IN HIS ILLNESS

Another time, when he was very sick in the palace of the bishop of Assisi, the brothers begged him to eat. He answered: "I don't have the wish to eat; but if I had a bit of that fish called squalo, perhaps I would eat some."

After he said this, someone came carrying a basket in which there were three large and well prepared squalia and crab-cakes that the holy father gladly ate. These were sent to him by Brother Gerardo, the minister at Rieti.

Marveling at divine providence, the brothers praised the Lord who had provided these things for his servant, because it was winter and such things were impossible to obtain in Assisi.

112
THE FOOD AND BREAD HE CRAVED AT HIS DEATH

When he was at the place of Saint Mary of the Angels, sick with his final illness that brought about his death, one day he called his companions and said: "You know how faithful and devoted Lady Jacoba dei Settesoli was and is to me and to our religion. And therefore I believe she would consider it a great favor and consolation if you notified her about my condition. Above all, tell her to send me some cloth for a tunic, the cloth the color of ashes. With this cloth have her also send some of that confection which she often made for me in the City." This confection, made of almonds, sugar or honey, and other things, the Romans call mostacciolo.

That very spiritual lady was a widow. She belonged to one of the more noble and wealthy families in all of Rome.b Through the merits and words of blessed Francis she had obtained such grace from God that she seemed like another Magdalene, always full of tears and devotion, moved by the love and sweetness of Christ.

They wrote a letter then, as dictated by the saint. While one brother went looking for another brother to deliver the letter to the lady, there was suddenly a knock at the gate of the place.

When one of the brothers opened the gate, he saw Lady Jacoba who had come in great haste to visit blessed Francis. When he

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Speculum Perfectionis, Fontes Franciscani, p.


Francis of Assisi: Early Documents, vol. 3, p. 360

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