The Life of Saint Francis by Julian of Speyer - 394 

Chapter VII

HOW HE LONGED TO BE A MARTYR, SAVED SAILORS FROM THE SEA’S DANGER, AND HOW HE BEHAVED BEFORE THE SULTAN.

34 Blessed Francis, burning with a most ardent longing for martyrdom, in the sixth year of his conversion, wished to set out to the region of Syria to announce there the gospel of Jesus Christ to the Saracens. Therefore he eagerly began his journey to Syria, but the ship in which he was a passenger was forced by ill winds to dock in Slavonia. Hearing, moreover, from the sailors that transit on that ship to Syria was not possible that year, unable to fulfill his vow, he went on board another ship which was making for Ancona, although he was barely permitted to board it by sailors who feared that could not pay his way.a And so, through him the Lord recalled to memory his miracles. Ps 111:4 [Vulgate, Ps 110:4] A long and severe storm arose at sea, and when, after their long labors, the sailors were in need of food, it was the help of the one to whom they had refused entry into the ship because they feared he lacked food that saved them from death. For certain things Blessed Francis, supplied by the Lord, had secretly brought provisions on board, although not enough to feed many people. They were increased by divine intervention on account of his merits, so that there was more than enough to fulfill the needs of everyone all the way to the port of Ancona, although many more days of the journey still remained. Seeing this, the sailors gave immeasurable thanks for the kindness of the Savior of all who had freed them from the danger of death through his servant Francis.

35 Having left the sea for land, the holy man began again to scatter the seeds of the divine word, and gathered its fruit in the form of many worthy followers.

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Iuliani de Spira Officium Sancti Francisci, Fontes Franciscani, p.


Caput VII

Quomodo martyr esse desiderabat; nautas a maris periculo liberavit; et qualiter coram Soldano comparuit.

34 1Ardentissimo martyrii desiderio fervens, beatus Franciscus sexto conversionis suae anno ad partes Syria voluit proficisci, ut ibidem Saracenis annuntiaret Evangelium Iesu Christi. 2Igitur ad eundum quidem in Syriam iter arripuit; sed, ventis contrariis flantibus, in Sclavoniae partes navis, in qua ducebatur, applicuit. 3Audiens autem a nautis eo anno navem illam in Syriam. transire non posse, voto suo fraudatus in aliam, quae Anconam tendebat, a nautis expensarum defectum timentibus vix permissus intravit; in qua et Dominus per eum mirabilium suorum memoriam fecit. 4Gravi namque et diutina maris tempestate suborta, iam demum post longos labores ipsis nautis cibaria deerant, dum, cui prius introitum navis defectus victualium timore negaverant, illius tunc subsidio mortis evasere iacturam. 5Nam quaedam, etsi non tanta ut multis quoquo modo sufficerent, beatus Franciscus, Domino sibi providente, latenter intulerat; 6quae tunc ad ipsius merita tantum sumpsere divinitus incrementum, ut abundanter usque ad portum Anconae necessitatibus omnium subvenirent, quamvis plures adhuc dies itineris superessent. 7Quod nautae videntes, immensas agebant omnium Salvatoris clementiae gratias, qui de mortis eos per famulum suum Franciscum periculo liberarat.

35 1Ut autem vir sanctus in terram a mari descendit, divini rursum verbi semina iacere coepit, fructumque ex illis de sequentibus ipsum pluribus viris idoneis recollegit.

Francis of Assisi: Early Documents, vol. 1, p. 394

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