The Deeds of Blessed Francis & His Companions (1328-1337) - 485 

kindly patience of the wolf roaming through the city recalled to their memory the remarkable sanctity and virtue of Saint Francis.

Thanks be to God.
Amen.

XXIV
SAINT FRANCIS ASKS A YOUNG MAN WHO HAD CAUGHT MANY DOVES TO GIVE THEM TO HIM AND HE MADE NESTS FOR THEM

1 A boy in the city of Siena at the time of Blessed Francis caught a great number of doves in a snare and was carrying them away alive to be sold.a Now Saint Francis, who was always full of pity, had an amazing compassion toward gentle animals, saw these doves and moved by compassion said: "O good young man, I beg you, hand them over to me, so that such innocent birds, which Scripture compares to chaste, humble and faithful souls, may not fall into the hands of cruel killers." The boy, inspired by God, immediately handed all those simple doves over to Blessed Francis. After the kind father Francis took them into his lap, he began to speak to them sweetly: "O, my sister doves, simple, chaste and innocent, why did you allow yourselves to be captured? I want to snatch you from death and make nests for you so that you can be fruitful, and fulfill the Creator's command that you multiply." And Blessed Francis went off and made nests for all those doves.

6 The doves took to the nests prepared by Saint Francis, and bred and raised their young in the presence of the brothers. They showed such familiarity toward Saint Francis and the other brothers that they seemed like chickens that had always been raised by the brothers. They never left the brothers until Saint Francis, with a blessing, gave them permission. The saint said to the boy who gave him the doves: "Son, you will soon be a Lesser Brother and serve our gracious Lord Jesus Christ." It happened just as the saint predicted. He later became a Lesser Brother, and lived a praiseworthy and exemplary life until his death. So Saint Francis not only provided relief in this present life for those doves, but also provided for that young man the joys of eternal life.

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Francis of Assisi: Early Documents, vol. 3, p. 485

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