The Deeds of Blessed Francis & His Companions (1328-1337) - 551 

To the praise of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Amen.

LXI
BLESSED FRANCIS CONVERTS A NOBLEMAN

1 The venerable father and admirable Saint Francis once came to the home of a powerful nobleman as a guest. He and his companion were received with so much devotion and generous courtesy that it seemed that nobleman was receiving angels as guests. Because of this courtesy Saint Francis nourished great devotion toward that man.

2 That lord received Saint Francis as he entered the house with a friendly embrace and a kiss of peace. After he entered, the man washed his feet and dried them and kissed them humbly. He furnished a big fire and prepared the table with an abundance of every good thing, and while they ate, he waited on them with a joyful expression on his face. After the food was eaten, the lord said to Saint Francis and his companion: "Father, I give you myself and everything I have; whenever you need tunics or mantles, buy them and I will repay you. And be aware that I am prepared to provide for all your needs, because the blessed God has given me an overflowing abundance of everything necessary; and so for love of Him I gladly spend it on the poor and needy."

4 For this reason Saint Francis, seeing how abundantly he provided things and hearing how abundantly he offered things, conceived such love for him in his heart that, as the man left, he said to his companion: "This man really would be good for our company! He is so grateful to God, so friendly to his neighbor, so generous to the poor, and so eager and courteous toward his guests. For courtesy, dear brother, is one of the qualities of God, who courteously bestows His sun and His rain and all things on the just and the unjust. Well-ordered courtesy is the sister of charity, the extinguisher of hatred and the conserver of love. And since I recognize so much divine virtue in this good man, I would gladly have him as a companion. So I want us to come back to him one day. Perhaps God will touch his heart so that he wants to join us in serving the Most High. Let us ask the Lord God to put this desire in his heart and that he be given the grace to put it into effect!"

7 In an amazing way, after a few days passed, the Lord granted Blessed Francis his heart's desire and did not cheat him of the wish of his lips. After first praying, after some days Saint Francis said to his

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Francis of Assisi: Early Documents, vol. 3, p. 551

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