The Kinship of Saint Francis - 706 

the brothers who hide in deserted and remote places, to devote themselves more generously to prayer, weeping over their sins and those of others, whose holiness is known only to God, and is sometimes ignored by the brothers and by people. And when their souls will be presented to God by the angels, the Lord will then reveal to them the fruit of their labors, that is, the many souls saved by their prayers, saying to them: 'My sons, behold these souls have been saved by your prayer' and, 'since you were faithful in little things, I will set you over many.' And he used to say about this passage: 'The barren one has given birth to many children, as it is described in the Leg- end.' "a

20b And elsewhere: "My brothers who are led by curiosity for knowledge will find themselves empty-handed on the day of reckoning. I would prefer that they work more for virtue, so that when the time of tribulation arrives they may have the Lord with them in their need. Because a tribulation is approaching," he said, "when books, useful for nothing, shall be thrown into cupboards and closets."


21 Once it happened that Brother John de Schiacia, minister of Bologna, who was a very educated man, established a place of studies in Bologna without permission from blessed Francis and while he was away. When blessed Francis heard this, he immediately went there and harshly chastised the minister, saying: "You want to destroy my Order! For I desire and want my brothers to pray more than to read." And so he had the place of study destroyed.

When he left Bologna, however, that minister again established the center of study. At this an upset blessed Francis cursed him with a harsh curse. After the saint's curse, he immediately became gravely ill. He then sent by way of two brothers a request to Blessed Francis asking him to take back that curse. Blessed Francis replied: "In heaven our Lord Jesus Christ confirmed that curse which I have given him. He is cursed by Him." The sick minister, therefore, laid thus on his bed. As he was lying there, a fiery drop of sulfur came down from on high on his body, and it bored completely through him




Francis of Assisi: Early Documents, vol. 3, p. 706