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 The Deeds of Blessed Francis & His Companions (1328-1337) - 525 

vile things of the world and the pleasures of the flesh, which all pass like shadows, do not lose those highest good things of heaven which will last forever, and do not keep rushing to such great and bitter torments."

17 After the brother said these things by the power of the Holy Spirit, the lord of the castle was deeply moved, and feeling remorse in his heart, he threw himself at the brother's feet. Then he and all his men began to weep very bitterly, and he asked and begged the brother to show him the way of salvation. With many tears and deep remorse he made his confession to the brother, who told him that to redeem his sins he would have to make pilgrimages to sanctuaries, mortify himself with fasting, keep prayerful vigils, and apply himself to abundant almsgiving and other works of piety. But the lord replied: "Dear Father, I've never been outside this region. I don't know how to say the Our Father or other prayers, so you should give me another penance." That holy brother responded: "Dear sir, I will stand as guarantee for you, and out of God's charity I will intercede with the Lord Jesus Christ for your sins, that your soul may not perish. But now at present, I don't want you to do any other penance except that this evening, with your own hands, you bring me some straw on which my companion and I can sleep."

22 The lord happily brought some straw and he carefully prepared the bed in a room where a light was burning. Noting that this brother had spoken such holy and powerful words, he believed that he was a holy man, he decided in his heart to investigate diligently what the brother would do that night. He saw the brother that evening settle down in bed. But when the brother thought that everyone was sleeping soundly, he got up in the silence of nighttime and, for the guarantee he gave, stretched out his hands to the Lord praying for him that the Lord would grant pardon for all his sins.

25 And while he was praying the brother was suddenly lifted up into the air to the top of the palace, and there in the air he wept and lamented, and pleaded for pardon of that lord's sins. Hardly ever was a man seen to weep so sincerely over the death of dear relatives or friends as this brother wept for the sins of this man. During that night the brother was lifted three times into the air, always lamenting pitiably and weeping compassionately. The lord secretly watched all this; he heard and saw the brother's charitable lament and his compassionate sobbing. So as soon as it was morning the lord threw himself at the brother's feet, and with tears of remorse asked him to lead him onto the path of salvation, since he was firmly determined to do whatever the brother ordered.




Francis of Assisi: Early Documents, vol. 3, p. 525

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