The Deeds of Blessed Francis & His Companions (1328-1337) - 539 

5 Brother Simon enjoyed such sweetness of the Holy Spirit that, when he had an inkling of divine illuminations and visitations and of love, he would put himself to bed, as if he wanted to go to sleep, because the tranquil sweetness of the Holy Spirit required repose not only of the mind but also of the body. So he was often rapt into God during such visitations and was rendered completely insensible to exterior things.

7 It happened one time that, while he was drawn to heavenly things, entirely inflamed interiorly and anointed by divine charisms and entirely insensible to external things, one brother, wishing to prove by experiment whether he truly was the way he seemed, placed a burning coal on his naked foot. Yet Brother Simon did not feel the coal at all and, even more than this, he suffered no harm even though that coal stayed on his foot until it had completely burned out.

9 When he was at table with the brothers, before taking food for the body, he always offered his companions spiritual food. Once when he was speaking about God, a very vain youth of San Severino was converted to the Lord. In the world he was noble, refined, and lusty. But even though Brother Simon gave the young man the habit of the religion, he kept those clothes he had removed. This young man stayed with him to be formed by him. But our adversary, the devil, who strives to prevent everything good, like a roaring lion 1 Pt 5:8 pounced on the young man, and with his evil breath made the coals glow, making such burning urges arise in the flesh that he gave up hope of being able to resist the temptation. So he went to Brother Simon and said: "Give me back the clothes I wore in the world, because I am not able to endure this temptation anymore." But Brother Simon had compassion for him and said: "Son, sit with me a little while." And as Brother Simon dripped the dew of divine words into the young man's ears immediately the whole temptation would be removed. And this happened several times, his asking for the clothes and the removal of the temptation. One night the violence of temptation urged him more than usual and he went to Brother Simon and said: "You must absolutely give back my clothes: there is no way I can stay any longer." But the kind father, feeling great compassion for him, said: "Son, come and sit with me a little while." The young man, in great anguish, sat down next to Brother Simon and lay his head on Brother Simon's breast. Then raising his eyes to heaven Jn 17:1 Brother Simon, feeling great compassion for him, prayed for the young man with great devotion and compassion. He was rapt into God and his prayer was also heard. While Brother Simon was returning from that rapture, the young man was totally freed from his




Francis of Assisi: Early Documents, vol. 3, p. 539