The Little Flowers of Saint Francis (after 1337) - 591 

And while they were enraptured this way, their eyes and hands lifted up to heaven, the people of Assisi and Bettona and those of the surrounding area saw Saint Mary of the Angels burning brightly, along with the whole place and the forest, which was next to the place. It seemed that a great fire was consuming the church, the place and the forest together. For this reason the Assisians in a great hurry ran down there to put out the fire, believing that everything really was burning. But on arriving at the place, not finding anything burning, they went inside and found Saint Francis with Saint Clare and all their companions sitting around that humble table, rapt into God through contemplation. From this they clearly understood that that was divine, not material fire, which God had made appear miraculously, to demonstrate and signify the fire of divine love, burning in the souls of these holy brothers and holy nuns. Then they departed with great consolation in their hearts and with holy edification.

Then, after a long time, Saint Francis and Saint Clare together with the others returned to themselves; and feeling themselves well comforted by spiritual food, they had little concern for bodily food. And thus finishing that blessed meal, Saint Clare, well accompanied, returned to San Damiano. On seeing her the sisters were very glad, because they feared that Saint Francis might have sent her to govern some other monastery, as he had already sent Sister Agnes, her holy sister, as abbess to govern the monastery of Monticelli in Florence. Saint Francis had once said to Saint Clare, "Prepare yourself, in case I have to send you someplace"; and she, as a daughter of holy obedience had responded, "Father, I'm always prepared to go wherever you send me." So the sisters rejoiced greatly when they had her back; and Saint Clare from then on remained greatly comforted.

To the praise of Jesus Christ
and the little poor man Francis.
Amen.

Chapter 16
HOW SAINT FRANCIS, COUNSELED BY SAINT CLARE AND HOLY BROTHER SYLVESTER TO PREACH AND CONVERT MANY PEOPLE, FORMED THE THIRD ORDER, PREACHED TO THE BIRDS, AND MADE THE SWALLOWS REMAIN SILENT

The humble servant of Christ, Saint Francis, a short time after his conversion, having already gathered and received many companions

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Francis of Assisi: Early Documents, vol. 3, p. 591

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