The Life of Blessed Francis - 624 

divine command, just as he ran along so swiftly as if the hand of God were upon him, giving him new strength from heaven.

3When he was approaching Bevagna, he came upon a place where a large flock of birds of various kinds had gathered. When the holy one of God saw them, he swifty ran to the spot and greeted them as though they had human reason. They all became alert and turned toward him, and those perched in the trees bent their heads as he approached them and in an uncommon way directed their attention to him. He approached them and intently encouraged them all to hear the word of God, saying: "My brother birds, you should greatly praise your Creator, who clothed you with feathers, gave you wings for flight, confided to you purity of the air, and governs you without your least care." While he was saying this and similar things to them, the birds fluttered about in a wonderful way. They began to stretch their necks, spread their wings, open their beaks, and look at him. He passed through their midst with amazing fervor of spirit, touching them with his tunic. Yet none of them left the place until the man of God made the sign of the cross and gave them a blessing and permission to leave; then they all flew away together. His companions waiting along the way contuited all these things.a Upon returning to them, the pure and simple man began to accuse himself of negligence because he had not previously preached to the birds.

4From there he went preaching through the neighboring districts and came to a village called Alviano. When the people were gathered, he called for silence, but he could scarcely be heard above the shrieking made by the swallows that were nesting there. In the hearing of all the people, the man of God addressed them and said: "My sister swallows, it is now time for me to speak, because you have already said enough. Hear the word of God and stay quiet until the word of the Lord is completed." As if they had been able to understand him, they suddenly became silent, and did not leave that place until the whole sermon was over. All who saw this were filled with amazement and gave glory to God.News of this miracle spread around everywhere, enkindling reverence for the saint and devotion for the faith.




Legenda Maior, Fontes Franciscani, p. 881-883

ut divinum exsequeretur imperium, tamque celeriter percurrebat, ac si, facta manu Domini super eum, novam induisset e caelo virtutem.

3 1Cum igitur appropinquaret Bevanio, ad quemdam locum devenit, in quo diversi generis avium maxima multitudo convenerat. 2Quas cum sanctus Dei vidisset, alacriter cucurrit ad locum et eas velut rationis participes salutavit. 3Omnibus vero exspectantibus et convertentibus se ad eum, ita ut quae in arbustis erant, inclinatis capitibus, cum appropinquaret ad eas, insolito modo in ipsum intenderent, usque ad eas accessit et omnes ut verbum Dei audirent, sollicite admonuit, 4dicens: « Fratres mei volucres, multum debetis laudare Creatorem vestrum, qui plumis vos induit et pennas tribuit ad volandum, puritatem concessit aëris et sine vestra sollicitudine vos gubernat ». 5Cum autem eis haec et his similia loqueretur, aviculae modo mirabili gestientes coeperunt extendere colla, protendere alas, aperire rostra et in illum attente respicere. 6Ipse vero cum spiritus fervore mirando per medium ipsarum transiens, tunica contingebat easdem, nec tamen de loco aliqua mota est, donec, signo crucis facto et licentia data cum benedictione viri Dei omnes insimul avolarunt. 7Haec omnia contuebantur socii exspectantes in via. 8Ad quos reversus vir simplex et purus, pro eo quod non hactenus avibus praedicaverat, coepit se de negligentia inculpare.

4 1Exinde praedicando per loca vicina procedens, venu ad castrum quoddam nomine Alvianum, ubi congregato populo et indicto silentio, propter hirundines nidificantes in eodem loco magnisque garritibus perstrepentes audiri vix poterat. 2Quas vir Dei, omnibus audientibus, allocutus est dicens: « Sorores meae hirundines, iam tempus est, ut loquar et ego, quia vos usque modo satis dixistis. 3Audite verbum Dei!, tenentes silentium, donec sermo Domini compleatur ». 4At illae tamquam intellectus capaces subito tacuerunt, nec fuerunt motae de loco, donec fuit omnis praedicatio consummata. 5Omnes igitur, qui viderunt, stupore repleti, glorificaverunt Deum. 6Istius miraculi fama circumquaque diffusa multos ad Sancti reverentiam et fidei devotionem accendit.

Francis of Assisi: Early Documents, vol. 2, p. 624