The Little Flowers of Saint Francis (after 1337) - 602 

God. As the others hesitated to go any further, Saint Francis took the road toward the place where the wolf was. Then that wolf, seeing many citizens who had come to see this miracle, ran toward Saint Francis with his mouth open. Drawing close to him, Saint Francis made the sign of the most holy cross on him and called him to himself and said this: "Come here, Brother Wolf. I command you on behalf of Christ that you do no harm to me or to anyone." An amazing thing to say! Immediately, when Saint Francis had made the sign of the cross, the fearsome wolf closed his mouth and stopped running; and once the command was given, it came meekly as a lamb, and threw itself to lie at the feet of Saint Francis. And Saint Francis spoke to him thus: "Brother Wolf, you do much harm in this area, and you have done great misdeeds, destroying and killing the creatures of God without His permission. And not only have you killed and devoured beasts, but you have dared to kill people, made in the image of God. For this reason you are worthy of the gallows as a thief and the worst of murderers. And all the people cry out and complain against you, and all this town is your enemy. But I, Brother Wolf, want to make peace between you and these people, so that you do not offend them any more, and they may pardon you every past offense, and so neither the people nor the dogs will persecute you any more. And after these words were said, the wolf showed that he accepted what Saint Francis said and wanted to observe it, by movement of his body and tail and ears and by bowing his head. Then Saint Francis said, "Brother Wolf, since it pleases you to make this pact of peace and keep it, I promise that I will have food given to you constantly, as long as you live, by the people of this town, so that you will no longer suffer hunger, since I know very well that you did all this harm because of hunger. But in order for me to obtain this grace for you, I want you, Brother Wolf, to promise me that you will never harm any human person nor any animal. Do you promise me this?" And the wolf, bowing his head, made a clear sign that he promised it. And Saint Francis said this: "Brother Wolf, I want you to guarantee this promise, so that I can truly trust it." Saint Francis reached out his hand to receive his guarantee, the wolf lifted his right paw in front of him, and tamely placed it on top of the hand of Saint Francis, giving the only sign of a guarantee that he was able to make.

Then Saint Francis said, "Brother Wolf, I command you in the name of Jesus Christ: Acts 16:18 come with me now without any hesitation, and we will go to seal this peace-pact in the name of God." And the obedient wolf went with him like a tame lamb; and the citizens, seeing this, were greatly amazed. Immediately this news was known throughout the whole city; and because of it all the people, men and women, great




Francis of Assisi: Early Documents, vol. 3, p. 602