The Deeds of Blessed Francis & His Companions (1328-1337) - 554 

8 While he remained excommunicated he became gravely ill. When his own brother heard about this—he was a lay brother who remained in the Order, a man of good life, upright and praiseworthy behavior—he went to visit him. Among other things he said to him: "Dearest brother, I am deeply saddened that you're excommunicated and will die without the habit outside the Order. If you can see a way that I can free you from such great danger, I'll gladly assume the task for you." Brother Elias said to him: "My dearest brother, I see no other way than that you go to the pope, and beg him for the love of Christ and blessed Francis, His sign-bearer, at whose advice I left the world, to absolve me from the excommunication and return to me the habit of the religion." His brother replied: "I'll gladly work for your salvation if I can get this favor."

10 He went from the Kingdom of Sicily to the pope and humbly asked, for the love of Christ and Saint Francis, the favor mentioned above. And it happened that, by divine permission and with the help of Saint Francis's prayers, the Lord Pope granted to that brother that, if he found Brother Elias alive, he should absolve him, on his behalf, from the excommunication and return the habit to him.a

11 That brother, leaving the curia, rushed toward the Kingdom of Sicily to absolve Brother Elias, as said above. By work of divine strength and the prayer of Saint Francis, that Brother found him alive, though he had left Brother Elias struggling and almost at the end. Receiving the papal absolution, and with his habit returned, he passed to the Lord. And it is believed that this favor gained for him at the end happened by the merits of Saint Francis, in whose prayers Brother Elias had rejoiced.

To the praise of our Lord Jesus Christ.




Francis of Assisi: Early Documents, vol. 3, p. 554