The Little Flowers of Saint Francis (after 1337) - 603 

and small, young and old, poured into the piazza to see the wolf with Saint Francis. And once all the people were fully assembled Saint Francis got up and preached to them, saying, among other things, that God allows such things and pestilences because of sins; and the flame of hell, which lasts forever for the damned, is much more dangerous than the fierceness of the wolf, which can only kill the body. Mt 10:28 "How much should the mouth of hell be feared when the mouth of a little animal holds such a great multitude in fear! Dear people, return to God, therefore, and do fitting penance for your sins, and God will free you from the wolf in the present, and from hell's fire in the future." When he finished the sermon, Saint Francis said, "Listen, my brothers! Brother Wolf, who is here before you, has promised me, and given me his guarantee, to make peace with you, and never to offend you in anything, if you promise him to give him every day the things he needs. And I make myself trustee for him that he will firmly observe the peace-pact." Then all the people with one voice promised to feed him regularly. And Saint Francis, in front of them all, said to the wolf: "And you, Brother Wolf, do you promise to observe the peace-pact with these people, that you will not harm the people, the animals, nor any creature?" And the wolf knelt down and bowed his head and with gentle movements of his body and tail and ears showed, as much as possible, that he wished to observe every part of the pact with them. Saint Francis said: "Brother Wolf, as you gave me a guarantee of this promise outside the gate, I also want you to give me in front of all the people a guarantee of your promise, that you will not deceive me in my promise and the guarantee that I gave for you." Then the wolf, lifting his right paw, placed it in the hand of Saint Francis. Because of this action, and the others mentioned above, there was such rejoicing and wonder among all the people, both for the devotion of the Saint and for the novelty of the miracle and for the peace of the wolf, that they all began to cry out to heaven, praising and blessing Lk 24:53 God who sent Saint Francis to them who, through his merits, had freed them from the jaws of the cruel beast.

Afterwards that same wolf lived in Gubbio for two years, and he tamely entered the houses, going from door to door, without doing harm to anyone and without any being done to him; and he was kindly fed by the people, and as he went this way through the town and the houses, no dog barked at him. Finally after two years Brother Wolf died of old age, at which the citizens grieved very much, because when they saw him going through the city so tamely, they better recalled the virtue and holiness of Saint Francis.




Francis of Assisi: Early Documents, vol. 3, p. 603