The Life of Saint Francis by Julian of Speyer - 404 

holy man was long entreated on her behalf before he assented, because he feared people’s applause. But finally, overcome by her entreaty, he placed his three brothers in three corners of the house to pray for her, and he himself withdrew to the fourth corner, likewise to pray. After this, he confidently went up to the stricken woman and, in the name of Christ, 1 Pt 4:14 commanded the demon to leave by virtue of obedience. Then the Lord did something to preserve the humility of his servant. So suddenly did the demon leave the woman, hissing horribly, that the man of God believed that he had been mocked, and red-faced, he left the place immediately.

Another time, when he was going through the same town, he refused to look at or address the same woman, but she piously hurried along behind him that she might speak to him and kiss his footprints. Est 13:13 And so, at last, he came with difficulty to believe—although everyone attested to it—that she had truly been a demoniac.

In Città di Castello, there was also a woman possessed by a demon, Lk 7:33 who, when Blessed Francis arrived there, was brought to him. A crowd from the city was present to petition Francis on her behalf. They complained that they were sore beset by the recurring insanity of this very demoniac. When he heard the furious clamoring at the door, Blessed Francis, wanting to know whether it was really a demon, first sent a brother into the house. She knew as soon as she saw him that he was not Blessed Francis, and smiling evilly, she treated the brother as insignificant. Meanwhile, however, the man of God had prostrated himself in prayer, and when this was completed, confidently approached the woman. Not being able to endure his presence, she writhed along the ground in front of him snarling. He commanded the spirit by obedience to go forth and, not being able to resist his command even for a moment it left.

51These, and many more similar things were done by Blessed Francis not only when he was physically present; but also in his absence, things he had touched proved a saving remedy against various calamities.

Once, in the territory of the city of Arezzo, a pregnant woman was suffering unusually, because, at the point of birth, Is 37:3 she was not able to deliver, so that all hope of saving her was lost. At the time, however, it happened that, due to an infirmity and weakness of the body, Blessed Francis had been taken to a certain hermitage on a horse, which was being led back by a brother through that same place. When the people of




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

3Pro qua vir sanctus, eo quod hominum timeret applausum, diu antequam acquiesceret exoratus, tandem vietus prece, tres fratres suos in tribus angulis domus ad orandum pro illa constituit, et in quartum similiter oraturus ipse secessit. 4Post haec ad mulierem miserabiliter se gerentem confidenter accessit, et in Christi nomine daemoni ut exiret per obedientiam imperavit. 5Qui, Domino id ad humilitatem famuli sui conservandam agente, tam subito horrende stridens egressus est, ut vir Dei sibi fuisse illusum certissime crederet, statimque a loco cum vultus suffusione recederet.

6Unde et alia vice per idem castellum transitum faciens, ipsam mulierem post se, ut ei loqueretur, devote currentem et vestigia pedum eius deosculantem videre vel alloqui noluit, donec vere illam daemoniacam fuisse, cunctis hoc attestantibus, tandem vix credidit.

7Erat quoque in Civitate de Castello quaedam mulier habens daemonium, quae, adveniente illuc beato Francisco, perducta venit ad ipsum. 8Aderat autem multitudo populi civitatis ad rogandum pro illa, quae se crebra ipsius daemoniacae gravatam conquerebatur insania. 9Quam ut audivit beatus Franciscus clamantem pro foribus et furentem, scire volens an esset vere daemonium, emisit. ad illam primitus quemdam fratrem. 10Quem illa videns, novit non esse beatum, Franciscum et nequiter subridens quasi pro modico duxit illum. 11Interim autem vir Dei in oratione prostratus, ea tandem completa, ad mulierem fiducialiter est egressus. 12Cuius illa sustinere non valens praesentiam, volutabatur coram illo cum fremitu super terram. 13Ipse vero per obedientiam imperavit exire spiritui; qui egrediens nec ad momentum resistere valuit imperanti.

51 1Haec et his similia plura per beati Francisci non solum corporalem praesentiam gesta sunt, verum etiam, si qua fortasse vel manu contingeret, erant in eius absentia contra diversas clades salubre remedium.

2Nam in finibus civitatis Aretii supra modum quaedam mulier gravida torquebatur, eo quod virtutem pariendi parturiens non haberet, ita ut omnino spes de ipsius salute non esset. 3Accidit autem tunc temporis beatum Franciscum propter infirmitatem corporis et debilitatem ad eremum quamdam in equo fuisse deductum, et eumdem equum reduci a quodam fratre per illum locum. 4Videntes autem homines loci fratrem,

Francis of Assisi: Early Documents, vol. 1, p. 404