The Life of Blessed Francis - 576 

11 The holy man abhorred
pride, the source of all evil,
and disobedience, its worst offspring,
but he welcomed the humility of repentance
with no less intensity.

It happened once that a brother, who had done something against the law of obedience, was brought to him to be punished according to justice. Seeing that the brother showed clear signs of being truly sorry, the man of God was drawn to be easy on him out of love of humility. However, so this easy forgiveness might not be an incentive for others to fail in their duty, he ordered that the brother's hood be taken off and thrown into the midst of a fire, so that all could see what and how harsh a punishment the offense of disobedience deserved. When the hood had been within the fire for a while, he ordered that it be pulled out of the flames and returned to the humbly repentant brother. What a marvel! The hood was pulled out of the middle of the flames, showing no trace of a burn. This was done so that, with this one miracle, God might so commend both the holy man's virtue and the humility of repentance.

worthy of being followed
is the humility of Francis
that obtained such marvelous honor even on earth
that, at his mere nod,
it inclined God to his wish,
changed the attitude of a human being,
repulsed the obstinacy of demons at his command,
and restrained the greed of flames.
In truth,
as it exalts its possessors,
this is what
wins honor from all,
while it exhibits reverence to all.




Legenda Maior, Fontes Franciscani, p. 831-832

11 1Abhorrebat nempe vir sanctus
superbiam, omnium malorum originem,
et inobedientiam, ipsius pessimam prolem,
sed non minus
humilitatem poenitentiae acceptabat.

2Accidit semel, ut eidem praesentaretur quidam frater, qui contra legem obedientiae aliquid fecerat, disciplina iustitiae corrigendus. 3Videns autem vir Dei fratrem illum per signa evidentia veraciter esse compunctum, ad indulgendum ei amore fuit humilitatis inductus. 4Ne tamen facilitas veniae incentivum esset aliis delinquendi, iussit, ablatum Fratri Caputium in medium flammarum proici, ut omnes adverterent, quanta qualique vindicta offensa sit inobedientiae percellenda. 5Cumque per moram caputium fuisset in medio ignis, praecepit, ipsum flammis detrahi reddique fratri humiliter poenitenti. 6Mirabile dictu! Extrahitur caputium de medio flammarum, nullum habens adustionis vestigium. 7Sicque factum est, ut hoc uno Deus miraculo et sancti viri virtutem et humilitatem poenitentiae commendaret.

8Digne itaque
est Francisci humilitas,
quae tam miram in terris etiam dignitatem obtinuit,
ut Deum inclinaret ad votum
et hominis immutaret affectum,
daemonum protervitatem suo iussu propelleret
et flammarum voracitatem solo nutu refrenaret.
haec est,
quae possessores suos exaltans,
dum omnibus reverentiam exhibet,
ab omnibus promeretur honorem.

Francis of Assisi: Early Documents, vol. 2, p. 576