The Little Flowers of Saint Francis (after 1337) - 604 

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

Chapter 22
HOW SAINT FRANCIS TAMED THE WILD DOVES

A young man one day caught many doves and was carrying them off to sell. Saint Francis met him and, always having singular kindness for meek animals, looking at those doves with a look of pity, said to the young man: "O good young man, I beg you to give them to me, so that such innocent birds, which are compared in Scripture to chaste, humble and faithful souls, may not fall into the hands of cruel people who will kill them." The young man, inspired by God, gave them all to Saint Francis, and he, taking them to his breast, began to speak sweetly to them: "O my sister doves, simple, chaste and innocent, why did you let yourselves be caught? Now, you see, I want to rescue you from death and make nests for you so that you can bear fruit and multiply according to our Creator's command."

And Saint Francis went and made nests for them all. And they used them, and began to lay eggs and raise their young among the brothers. They stayed and behaved tamely with Saint Francis and the other brothers as if they were chickens that the brothers had always fed. And they never departed unless Saint Francis with his blessing gave them permission to leave.

Saint Francis said to the boy who gave him the doves: "Son, you will yet become a brother in this Order and you will graciously serve Jesus Christ." And so it happened: that young man became a brother, and lived in the Order with great holiness.

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

Chapter 23
HOW SAINT FRANCIS FREED A BROTHER WHO WAS IN SIN AND WITH THE DEMON

One time when Saint Francis was in prayer in the place of the Portiuncula, by divine revelation, he saw the whole place surrounded and besieged by demons as though by a huge army; but none of them was able to enter the place because the brothers there

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Francis of Assisi: Early Documents, vol. 3, p. 604

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