The Little Flowers of Saint Francis (after 1337) - 572 

devotion went to Santiago in Galicia, and took with him some brothers, among whom was Brother Bernard. And as they were going together along the road, in a certain village he came upon a sick little poor man. Having compassion for him, he said to Brother Bernard: "Son, I want you to remain here to serve this sick man." And Brother Bernard, humbly kneeling and bowing his head, accepted the holy father's obedience and remained in that place. And Saint Francis with the other companions went to Santiago. When they arrived there, remaining in prayer during the night in the Church of Saint James, God revealed to Saint Francis that he must take many places throughout the world since his Order was to expand and grow into a great multitude of brothers. And because of this revelation Saint Francis began to take places in those regions. As Saint Francis was returning by the way he took earlier, he again found Brother Bernard; and the sick man, with whom he had left him, was perfectly healed. So Saint Francis allowed Brother Bernard to go to Santiago the following year.

And thus Saint Francis returned to the Valley of Spoleto. And he stayed in a deserted place, he and Brother Masseo and Brother Elias, and some others, all of whom were very careful not to annoy or distract Saint Francis from prayer. They did this because of the very great reverence they had for him, and because they knew that God revealed great things to him in his prayers. It happened one day that, while Saint Francis was at prayer in the woods, a handsome young man dressed for travelling came to the door of the place and knocked so fast and loud and long that the brothers were very surprised at such an odd way of knocking. Brother Masseo went and opened the door and said to that young man: "Where do you come from, son? It seems that you've never been here before if you knocked in such an odd way." And the young man replied: "And how should I knock?" Brother Masseo said: "Knock three times, one after the other, slowly, then wait long enough for the brother to say the 'Our Father' and come to you." The young man replied: "I'm in a hurry. That's why I knocked so loudly. I've got a long journey to make and I've come here to talk to Brother Francis. But he's in the woods now in contemplation, so I don't want to disturb him. But go, send Brother Elias to me. I want to ask him a question, because I understand he's very wise." Brother Masseo went and told Brother Elias to go to that young man. Brother Elias was provoked, and did not want to go. So Brother Masseo did not know what to do or what to reply to him, except to say, lying, that Brother Elias could not come; he said he was upset and did not want to come, since he was afraid of giving him bad example. In the meantime, as Brother Masseo took a long time to




Francis of Assisi: Early Documents, vol. 3, p. 572