The Deeds of Blessed Francis & His Companions (1328-1337) - 546 

holiness, and every day he looked forward to the fulfillment of the promise made to him. And although he increased in every good behavior to the height of sanctity, and in that whole province was dear and beloved to both the brothers and the laity, yet he did not see his desire being fulfilled.

13 One day while he was praying and weeping before the Lord because his stay, as it seemed to him, was being excessively prolonged, the blessed Christ suddenly appeared to him. At the sight his soul was melted. Christ said to him: "My son, ask of me what you wish." He answered: "My Lord, I don't know what to say. I want nothing but you; but I do ask you this: that you pardon me and forgive all my sins, and that you give me the grace to see you again when I will have the greatest need." Then the Lord said to him: Your prayer has been heard. Then Christ slipped away from his sight; and he remained totally comforted in the Lord.

16 Finally, the brothers of the Marches, hearing his reputation, arranged with the General that he return to the Marches. When he saw the obedience, he said to himself: "This is the long journey, and when it is completed, I will go to God."

17 After he returned to the province, he was not recognized by any of his relatives. He waited day after day for the mercy of God, and that the promise would be fulfilled. But the journey was prolonged further. After his return he stayed a good thirty years in the Marches, and during this time he had the office of guardian.a The Lord worked many miracles through him,b and among many other gifts he had the spirit of prophecy.

18 Once when he was away from the place, one of his novices was tempted by the demon to apostasize from the Order. He made this agreement with the tempter: that, as soon as Brother John returned, he would leave immediately. When Brother John returned, he immediately called that novice to him: "Listen to me, son. First, I want you to go to confession." And as he went, Brother John said: "Listen to me, son, first." Then he recounted the whole temptation to him, and he said: "Because you waited for me and refused to leave without my blessing, God will give you this grace: that you will never leave this Order, but with the blessing of the Lord you will die in this Order." Then that novice was confirmed in his good will and became a holy brother. And Brother John himself related all this to me, Ugolino.c




Francis of Assisi: Early Documents, vol. 3, p. 546