The Kinship of Saint Francis - 688 

the devil once appeared to him in the form of the Crucified and told him that Saint Francis was among the foreknown and condemned, and that he should not believe him. He was so blinded that he lost the love and faith he had in Francis, until Saint Francis called him, revealing that delusion to him and recalled him to his original state.

As Thomas saw the wound of Christ's hands and placed his fingers in the wound of His side, so Brother Rufino did exactly the same in the wounds of Saint Francis. For he wanted to rub Saint Francis, and then he placed his finger in the wound. Saint Thomas was frequently standing with his eyes raised and fixed on heaven, so that he was dining on such sweetness. Likewise, Brother Rufino "reached such an elevation of his mind and perseverance in prayer that he would stand continually in a small circle contemplating night and day divine things unless he was prevented by others." Just as Christ once appeared to Saint Thomas and strengthened him, so He appeared to Brother Rufino and "made his soul melt with divine love."


["Saint" James the Lesser] Brother Sylvester]


6f The sixth companion of Saint Francis was Brother Sylvester who was very similar to blessed James Alpheus, like Alpha, first in name, since James means supplantator [tripping one], and Alpheus means fugitivus [fugitive].a Sylvester is spoken of as silvas terens [eroding trees], supplantare [to trip] the world, that is, to place under foot, and silvas terens, I believe, shows in both men a contempt of worldly things. Because he was Alpheus, that is, a fugitive, and Sylvester was silvas terens [eroding trees], solitude is evidently present in both. For blessed James was exceptionally solitary and always spending time in prayer; therefore, because of his abundant prayers and genuflections he had calluses on his knees like those on his heels.b In the same way, Sylvester was almost always in prayer and frequently stayed in lonely places, especially on Monte Subasio where there was a cell of blessed Francis.c




Francis of Assisi: Early Documents, vol. 3, p. 688