The Deeds of Blessed Francis & His Companions (1328-1337) - 509 

3 While he was begging for bread in Assisi, a demoniac, strongly bound and escorted by many people, was being led to Saint Francis to be freed from the devil. When he saw Brother Rufino from a distance, he immediately began to cry out and rage so furiously that he broke all his bonds and escaped from the hands of them all. The people were astonished by this strange event and they swore him to tell them why he was being tortured more than usual. He replied: "Because that poor little Brother, that obedient, humble, holy Brother Rufino, who is coming with his sack, burns and tortures me with his holy virtues and humble prayers, and therefore I cannot remain in this man any more." Saying this, the demon suddenly left. When Brother Rufino heard about this, because those people and even the healed man showed great reverence toward him, he gave praise to the Lord Jesus Christ, and exhorted them in all things to glorify our God and Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ.



1 Our blessed Father Francis so diligently concealed from the eyes of all those most holy wounds which Christ, the Son of God, had miraculously impressed in his hands and feet and side that, while the saint was living, hardly anyone was able to see them plainly. From that time on, he went about with his feet covered, and only the tips of his fingers were visible to his companions, for he hid his hands in his sleeves, remembering what was said to the holy Tobias by the angel: It is good to keep the secret of a king.

3 While he was still living, Saint Francis particularly hid the wound in his side at all times so that, except for Brother Rufino who managed to see it by a pious strategy, no one else was able to see it. By three-part evidence Brother Rufino assured himself and others about the most holy wound in the side. First, he sometimes had to wash the holy father's knee-breeches, and he found they were often stained with blood on the right side, and from this he concluded that it was blood which flowed from the wound in the right side. Saint Francis rebuked Brother Rufino when he noticed him spreading out those knee-breeches to look for that mark.




Francis of Assisi: Early Documents, vol. 3, p. 509