The Deeds of Blessed Francis & His Companions (1328-1337) - 514 

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

XL
HOW THE LORD JESUS CHRIST SPOKE TO BROTHER MASSEOa

1 Those holy companions of our father Francis, poor in things but rich in God, did not try to become wealthy in gold or silver, but deliberately attempted to become rich in holy virtues by which one arrives at true, eternal riches. It so happened that one day Brother Masseo,b one of the chosen companions of Saint Francis, and other companions were speaking about God, one of them said that there was a certain friend of God, who possessed great grace of both the active and contemplative life. And with these he also had a profound depth of humility which made him consider himself the greatest of sinners. This humility strengthened and sanctified him, and made him constantly grow in these gifts and, what is better still, never permitted him to fall away from God.

4 As Brother Masseo listened to these remarkable things and realized that this was the treasure of life and eternal salvation, he was inflamed to such love, wanting to have this virtue of humility, so worthy of the embrace of God, that with great fervor he raised his face to heaven and most firmly bound himself by vow never to wish to be happy in this world until he felt that this outstanding humility was present in his soul. After making this vow and holy plan, he constantly stayed enclosed in a cell, and constantly offered himself with indescribable groans. For it seemed to him that he was someone thoroughly worthy of hell, unless he reached that most holy humility, by which this friend of God he had heard about considered himself, who was full of virtues, lower than everyone; even considering himself thoroughly worthy of hell.

8 While Brother Masseo remained so sad for many days, sacrificing himself with hunger, thirst, and many tears, one day he happened to go into the woods. Walking through them, he kept on letting out moans and cries and tearful sighs because of this ardent desire, and he begged God to give him this virtue. Because the Lord heals the contrite of heart Lk 4:18 and listens to the cries of the humble, a voice came from heaven and called out twice: "Brother Masseo! Brother Masseo!" Recognizing through the Holy Spirit that it was the blessed

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Francis of Assisi: Early Documents, vol. 3, p. 514

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