The Deeds of Blessed Francis & His Companions (1328-1337) - 441 

Brother Bernard.a As they were going along together in a certain town they came upon a sick man. Having compassion on him, Saint Francis said to Brother Bernard: "Son, I want you to remain here and serve this sick man." Brother Bernard immediately knelt down and bowed his head, reverently accepting the obedience of the holy father. Then leaving Brother Bernard with the sick man, Saint Francis went on to Santiago with the other companions.b While they were staying and praying in Santiago, it was revealed to him by the Lord in that church that he would take places throughout the world, because his Order was to expand into a great multitude.c From that time on because of the divine command he began to take places all around.

5 As Saint Francis was returning by the same road as before, he found Brother Bernard and the sick man, who was now perfectly healthy.d Therefore, Saint Francis allowed Brother Bernard to go to Santiago during the following year. In the meantime Saint Francis returned to the Valley of Spoleto.

And while he and Brother Masseo and Brother Elias and some others were staying in a deserted place, Saint Francis one day went into the woods to pray. His companions, who held him in great reverence, were concerned about disturbing his prayer in any way because of the wonderful things God did for him in prayer.

8 It happened that a very handsome young man came to the door, his clothes tied tightly for he was travelling on foot. He knocked rapidly and for a long time, which was not the custom. Brother Masseo came to the door, opened it, and said to that young man: "Son, I don't believe that you've ever come to the door of the brothers before, because you don't know how to knock with moderation." The other responded: "How should it be done?" Brother Masseo said: "Knock three times, slowly one knock after another. Then wait until the brother can finish one Our Father and comes to you. If he does not come within this interval, then knock again." But the young man replied: "I'm in a great hurry. That's why I knocked that way. I have a long journey to make. I came here to speak to Saint Francis, but he is now in contemplation in the woods, so I don't want to disturb him.




Francis of Assisi: Early Documents, vol. 3, p. 441