The Deeds of Blessed Francis & His Companions (1328-1337) - 443 

that question better than himself, Brother Elias returned to the door and opened it to ask the young man to untangle it for him. But when he opened the door, no one was there, and even though he looked here and there, the young man was not to be found. This young man was an angel of God, and, for this reason, did not wait, and went away, because a proud heart was not worthy to converse with an angel.

27 After this occurred and it had all been revealed to him, Saint Francis came back from the woods and rebuked Brother Elias shouting: "You are a proud man, Brother Elias! You do wrong! You turn away holy angels who come to visit and teach us. I tell you that I very greatly fear that your pride will make you end up outside this Order." And that is what happened to him later, just as Saint Francis had foretold through the spirit of prophecy.

On the same day and at the same hour when that angel left that brother mentioned above, that angel appeared in the same form to Brother Bernard who was returning from Santiago and was standing by the side of a large river that he could not cross. The angel greeted Brother Bernard in his native dialect: "The Lord give you peace, Nm 6:26 good brother."a Brother Bernard was surprised at his beauty, at the way he knew his tongue, at his greeting of peace, and his smiling face; so he asked him: "Where do you come from, good young man?" The young man replied: "I come from such and such a place, where Saint Francis is staying. I went to speak with him, but I could not because he was in the woods contemplating the things of God. With him in that place were Brother Masseo, Brother Giles, and Brother Elias. Brother Masseo taught me how to knock at your door. But Brother Elias would not bother to listen to me about a question I asked him; later he was sorry and wished to see me and hear me but could not." After saying this, the angel said to Brother Bernard: "Dear Brother, why are you waiting to cross the river?" He answered: "Because I'm afraid of that dangerous depth of the water I see." Then the angel said: "Let's cross together; don't be afraid!" Taking hold of Brother Bernard's hand, in the blink of an eye the angel put him down safely on the other side of the river. Realizing that this was an angel of the Lord, Brother Bernard said with great devotion, reverence and joy: "O blessed angel of God, will you tell me your name?" He replied: "Why are you asking my name which is 'wonderful'?" Having said this, he




Francis of Assisi: Early Documents, vol. 3, p. 443