The Versified Life of Saint Francis  - 495 

115The exorcizing sign of the cross and blesses him.
Such holy exorcisms by such a holy one the devil cannot bear,
So that, seeing the divine emblem, he comes out sad,
Never, once thrown out, to return to his resting-place.
Whilea the saint thus wiped out the furies of the ancient foe

120And everything that stood against human salvation,
His zeal takes root in the souls of thirty men
Who follow after his banner in the spiritual warfare.
Entertained in the faithful city of San Gemino,
His host came knocking on his door with earnest pleas

125That he might deign with his holy prayers to come to the help
Of his poor wife who for long had been possessed by a fiend.
He hears the enticing prayersb of the honest pleader
And, calling three brothers, says: "No corner is to be
Unoccupied; each of you three take a corner, I will stand

130In the fourth. Let the cross we thus formc
Be a sort of obstacle device, to prevent that evil spirit
From thinking he can escape from our hands."
Having arranged things accordingly, "What, wicked demon?"
He cries, "Are you pretending or do you not know that bodies

135Baptized for God only must let him reside in them?
Therefore, come out, you that are an unclean spirit; Mk 9:24
Under penalty I command you, devil, never to dare
Lay claim in your madness to godly bodies."
As he flung him these threats and promised him a lashing,

140So suddenly and as though by stealth did the demon depart
That Francis thought he had tricked him and the woman
Hadn't recovered. But in fact there was a happy ending:
Any of his utterances were not to have been made in vain;
For after a not very long time had passed, he happened

145To be heading once more to the place, though not the house,
When by chance he saw her. In possession of senses

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Legenda Sancti Francisci Versificata, Fontes Franciscani, p.


115Exorcismatibus sanctae crucis et benedicit.
Tam sacra tam sacri nequit exorcismata ferre,
Sed, vexilla videns divina, diabolus exit
Tristis, ad excussum numquam rediturus asylum.
Dum sic antiqui furias eliminat hostis

120Sanctus et humanae contraria quaeque saluti,
Zelum concipiunt et spiritualis ab illo
Militiae triginta viri vexilla capessunt.
Sancti devota Gemini susceptus in urbe,
Obnixis precibus pulsatur ab hospite, cuius

125Uxorem miseram dudum possederat hostis,
Ut sacro dignetur opem sibi ferre precatu.
Blandas ille preces exaudit iusta petentis,
Tresque vocans fratres: " Nullus vacet angulus ", inquit,
" Unum quisque trium teneat, quartumque tenebo;

130Sitque figura quasi contradictoria, quae nos
In cruce disponat, ne spiritus iste malignus
Confidat se posse manus evadere nostras ".
His ita dispositis: " Quid ", ait, " nequissime daemon?
An nescis, an dissimulas quod corpora soli

135Baptizata Deo sedem praebere tenentur?
Ergo tu, cum sis immundus spiritus, exi,
Sub poena tibi praecipio, nec vasa furori
Usurpare tuo divina, diabolus, aude ".
His illo flagrante minis et flagra minante,

140Tam subito daemon abscedit tamque latenter,
Ut sibi Franciscus hunc illusisse, nec illam
Convaluisse putet. Sed res ex fine probantur;
Neve super vacuum quidquam dixisse putaret,
Accidit ut rursum processu non diuturni

145Temporis intendens non illuc ire, sed illac
Forte videret eam; quae sensus et rationis

Francis of Assisi: Early Documents, vol. 1, p. 495

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