The Deeds of Blessed Francis & His Companions (1328-1337) - 490 

was absolved from his fault and a penance was imposed on him. Then, suddenly, before the holy father's eyes, the devil fled. The sheep, however, snatched from the jaws of the ferocious beast, gave thanks to his holy, protecting shepherd, to God and to blessed Francis, and returned to the holy assembly of the flock, having learned from then on to avoid such deadly danger; he ended in good holiness.

To the praise and glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Amen.

XXVII
HOW THE SULTAN OF BABYLON WAS CONVERTED TO THE FAITH AND BAPTIZED BY BROTHERS SENT BY SAINT FRANCIS

1 Our most holy father Francis, urged on by his zeal for the faith and by a fervent desire for martyrdom, crossed overseas with twelve of his most holy brothers,a intending to direct their course straight to the Sultan.b

2 After he arrived in the territory of the pagans where those who guarded the roads were so cruel that no Christian passing there could escape death, they did indeed avoid death by God's plan. However, they were captured, mistreated in many ways, very harshly bound, and led to the Sultan. In the Sultan's presence, instructed by the Holy Spirit, Saint Francis preached with such divine power about the holy Catholic faith that he offered himself for proof by fire.c Observing this, the Sultan conceived a great devotion for him both because of the constancy of his faith, his contempt of the world—even though very poor, he did not want to accept anything from him—and also because of his fervent desire for martyrdom. From that moment the Sultan gladly listened to him, and asked that he come to him frequently. Moreover, the Sultan liberally allowed Saint Francis and his companions to preach freely anywhere they wished. He then gave them a particular sign: seeing it, no one would harm them.

8 With this generous permission Saint Francis sent his chosen companions, two by two, here and there into various regions of the pagans, among which he with his companion chose one. When he

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Francis of Assisi: Early Documents, vol. 3, p. 490

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