The Life of Saint Francis by Julian of Speyer - 402 

Chapter X

THE FRUIT OF HIS PREACHING AND THE DEVOTION OF THE PEOPLE TOWARDS HIM; AND SOME OF HIS MIRACLES, AND THE SOLEMNITY OF THE MANGER AND THE VISION CONNECTED WITH IT.

46At the time when the holy man of God, Francis, preached to the birds, as has been said, he went around far and wide through towns and villages. Mt 9:35a By divine power he moved the hearts of so many to penance that several times he received some thirty men together into the habit of religion.b The desire of those who streamed around him was so great that anyone, who, with deep devotion, was able to touch even his clothing, Mk 5:28 considered himself happy. When Francis entered any city or village, the bells were rung solemnly to greet him; unanimously applauding his coming most joyfully, people sometimes went out in procession with tree branches to meet him. Heretical depravity was confounded and the Catholic faith, which the holy man proclaimed not only by his life and words but also by many miraculous prodigies, was extolled.c He cured every illness by invoking the power of the Divine Name, he magnificently drove out demons by his word, and no difficulty of want or peril was able to resist his prayer. Though we reserve his miracles for a longer treatment, nevertheless in this work we shall briefly insert a few.d

47In the city of Toscanella, Blessed Francis was offered warm hospitality by a certain knight whose only son, Lk 7:12 though he had been weaned, still lay in a cradle, lame and enfeebled physically. The knight humbly prostrated himself at the feet of the blessed man and tearfully asked him to cure his son. But the servant of God, thinking himself unworthy of such a task, at first did not accede until, overcome in the end

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


Caput X

De fructu praedicationis illius, et de devotione populi circa ipsum; et de quibusdam niraculis eius, et de solemnitate praesaepii et visione.

46 1Sanctus vir Dei Franciscus, eo tempore quo, ut dictum est, volucribus praedicavit, per civitates et castella longe lateque circuiens, tantorum divina virtute ad poenitentiam corda commovit, quod et aliquoties ad religionis habitum simul triginta recepit. 2Tanto namque desiderio turmatim populus confluebat ad ipsum, ut si quis vel eius vestimenta contingere posset, felicem se prae devotione permaxima reputaret. 3Introeunte ipso civitatem aliquam vel castellum, pulsatis illum campanis solemniter exceperunt, et cum ingenti gaudio adventui eius unanimiter applaudentes, obviam sibi quandoque cum ramis arborum processerunt. 4Confundebatur haeretica pravitas, fides extollebatur catholica, quam non solum hic sanctus vita magnificavit et verbis, sed et plurimis extulit miraculorum prodigiis. 5Nam et omnem languorem, divini nominis invocata virtute curavit, verbo magnifice daemones effugavit, nullaque oranti necessitatis seu periculi difficultas obsistere potuit. 6Cuius miracula etsi prolixiori tractatui reservemus, pauca tamen huic opuscolo breviter inseremus.

47 1In civitate Tuscanella miles quidam beatum Franciscum hospitio devote collegerat; cuius unicus filius, etsi iam annos ablactationis transierat, adhuc tamen in cunabulis claudus et toto corpore debilis decubabat. 2Hic beati viri pedibus humiliter se prostravit, eumque flebiliter pro filii sui sanitate rogavit. 3Sed Dei famulus, ad talia indignum se reputans, nequaquam primitus acquievit, donec ad ultimum victus instantia deprecantis ad orationem se contulit,

Francis of Assisi: Early Documents, vol. 1, p. 402

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