The Life of Blessed Francis - 574 

were gazing upon the relics which had been brought there not by human hands, but by the power of God.

A little later, when he had returned, the man devoted to God diligently began to inquire if his orders about the relics had been carried out. The brothers humbly confessed their fault of neglecting obedience, and won pardon together with a penance. And the holy man said: "Blessed be the Lord my God who himself carried out what you were supposed to do."

Consider carefully
the care of divine providence for our dust,
and ponder
the excellent virtue of the humble Francis
in the eyes of God!
Whose commands a human did not heed,
whose wishes God obeyed.a

8 One time when he came to Imola, he went to the bishop of the city and humbly asked, according to his pleasure, to be able to call the people together to preach to them. The bishop replied harshly to him: "Brother, I preach to my people and that is enough!" The genuine humble man bowed his head and went outside,but less than an hour later he came back in. At this, since the bishop was annoyed, he asked him what he was looking for a second time. He responded with a humility of heart as well as of voice: "My lord, if a father throws his son out by one door, he should come back by another." The bishop, overcome by humility, embraced him with a smile, saying: "From now on, you and all your brothers have my general permission to preach in my diocese, because your holy humility has earned it."

9 It happened once that he came to Arezzo at a time when the whole city was shaken by a civil war that threatened its destruction. Given hospitality in the outskirts, he saw demons over the city leaping for joy and arousing the troubled citizens to mutual slaughter. In order to put to flight those seditious spiritual powers, he sent Brother Sylvester, a man of dove-like simplicity, before him as a herald, saying: "Go in front of the city gate and, on behalf of Almighty God, command the devils to leave at once!" The genuine




Legenda Maior, Fontes Franciscani, p. 829-830

ossa pulcherrima et redolentia nimis non sine admiratione reperiunt, intuentes reliquias, quas non hominis manus sed Dei virtus attulerat.

5Reversus paulo post, vir Deo devotus diligenter coepit exquirere, si quod de reliquiis mandaverat, esset impletum. 6Verum neglectae obedientiae culpam fratres confitentes humiliter, cum poena veniam meruerunt. 7Et ait vir sanctus: « Benedictus Dominus Deus meus, qui per seipsum implevit quod vos facere debuistis! ».

8Considera diligenter
divinae providentiae curam circa pulverem nostrum,
et humilis Francisci excellentem
in oculis Dei
perpende virtutem!
9Nam cuius iussis non paruit homo,
votis obedivit Deus.

8 1Quodam tempore deveniens Imolam, civitatis episcopum adiit humiliterque poposcit, ut cum ipsius beneplacito posset populum ad praedicationem vocare. 2Cui episcopus dure respondens: « Sufficit », inquit, « frater, quod ego praedicem populo meo ». 3Inclinavit caput verus humilis, et foras egressus, post modicam horam regreditur intro. 4A quo cum episcopus quasi turbatus requireret, quid iterato petere vellet; humili tam corde quam voce respondit: « Domine, si pater filium uno pepulerit ostio, alio sibi reintrandum est ». 5Humilitate victus, episcopus alacri vultu eum amplexatus est, dicens: « Tu et omnes fratres tui de caetero in episcopatu meo generali mea licentia praedicetis, quia illud humilitas sancta promeruit ».

9 1Contigit ipsum aliquando Aretium devenire, cum tota civitas intestino bello quassata propinquum sui minabatur excidium. 2Hospitatus vero in suburbio, vidit supra civitatem exsultantes daemones ac perturbatos cives ad caedem mutuam succendentes. 3Ut autem seditiosas illas effugaret aëreas potestates, fratrem Silvestrum, columbinae simplicitatis virum, quasi praeconem praemisit, dicens: « Vade ante portam civitatis et ex parte Dei omnipotentis daemonibus in virtute obedientiae praecipe, ut exeant festinanter ». 4Accelerat verus obediens patris iussa perficere,

Francis of Assisi: Early Documents, vol. 2, p. 574