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 A Mirror of the Perfection (The Sabatier Edition, 1928) - 364 

begin until Brother Elias arrived, since he had expressed a desire to be there when the doctor would begin the procedure for that cure. And feeling disturbed and upset to experience so much solicitude about himself, he consequently wanted the general minister to oversee everything.

He therefore waited for him, and he did not come because, on account of many engagements he had, he could not come. And so blessed Francis finally permitted the doctor to do what he wanted. When the iron had been placed in the fire to make the cautery, wanting to comfort his spirit so it would not become afraid, blessed Francis spoke in this way to the fire: "My Brother Fire, noble and useful among all the creatures the Most High created, be courtly to me in this hour. For a long time I have loved you and I still love you for the love of that Lord who created you. I pray our Creator who made us, to temper your heat now, so that I may bear it." And as he finished the prayer, he made the sign of the cross over the fire.

Then we who were with him, overcome out of piety and compassion for him, all ran away, and he remained alone with the doctor. However, when the cauterization was finished, we returned to him. "You, faint-hearted, of little faith," he said to us, "why did you run away? I tell you the truth: I did not feel any pain or even heat from the fire. In fact, if it's not well cooked, cook it some more!"

The doctor was greatly amazed and said: "My brothers, I tell you, and I speak from experience: I doubt that any very strong man with a healthy body could bear such a severe burn, much less this man, who is weak and sick. But he did not flinch nor show the slightest sign of pain."

It was necessary to cauterize all the veins, extending from the ear to the eyebrow, but it did not help him at all. Similarly, another doctor pierced both his ears with a red hot iron, but it did not help him at all.

It is not surprising that fire and other creatures obeyed and showed him reverence because, as we who were with him very often saw, how much he loved them, and how much delight he took in them. His spirit was moved to so much piety and compassion toward them that he did not want to see when someone did not treat them decently. He used to speak with them with joy, inside and out, as if they were rational creatures, on which occasions he was frequently rapt in God.

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Speculum Perfectionis, Fontes Franciscani, p.


Francis of Assisi: Early Documents, vol. 3, p. 364

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