The Little Flowers of Saint Francis (after 1337) - 624 

Chapter 33
HOW SAINT CLARE, AT THE POPE'S COMMAND, BLESSED THE BREAD THAT WAS ON THE TABLE; AND ON EVERY LOAF THERE APPEARED THE SIGN OF THE CROSS

Saint Clare, a most devoted disciple of the Cross and noble plant of Sir Saint Francis, was of such holiness that not only the bishops and cardinals but even the pope desired with great affection to see her and listen to her, and often visited her personally.

One time among others the Holy Father went to her at the monastery to hear her speak of heavenly and divine things; and as they were speaking together about various things, Saint Clare had the tables prepared and bread placed on them, so that the Holy Father might bless it. So, when their spiritual conversation was finished, Saint Clare knelt down with great reverence, and asked him to be kind enough to bless the bread placed on the table. The Holy Father replied: "My most faithful Sister Clare, I want you to bless this bread, and make over it the sign of the most holy Cross, to which you have given your whole self." And Saint Clare said: "Most Holy Father, forgive me, because I would be worthy of the greatest rebuke if in front of the Vicar of Christ I, who am a vile little woman, should presume to give such a blessing." And the pope replied: "So that this may not be attributed to presumption but to the merit of obedience, I command you under holy obedience to make the sign of the most holy Cross over this bread and bless it in the name of God." Then Saint Clare, as a true daughter of obedience, very devoutly blessed that bread with the sign of the most holy Cross of Christ. An amazing thing happened! Immediately the sign of the Cross appeared, beautifully cut into each loaf. And then some of these loaves were eaten and others were kept because of the miracle. And the Holy Father, having seen the miracle, took some of that bread and, giving thanks to God, departed, leaving Saint Clare with his blessing.

At that time living in that monastery were Sister Ortulana, mother of Saint Clare, and Sister Agnes, her sister, both together, with Saint Clare, filled with virtues and with the Holy Spirit, and many other holy nuns. To them Saint Francis sent many sick people; and with their prayers and the sign of the most holy Cross they returned them all to health.

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

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Francis of Assisi: Early Documents, vol. 3, p. 624

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