The Life of Blessed Francis - 625 

5In the city of Parma, a scholar, an excellent young man, was diligently studying with his companions when he was so annoyed by the bothersome chattering of a swallow. He began to say to his companions: "This swallow is one of those that kept bothering the man of God Francis when he was preaching one time, until he imposed silence on them." And turning to the swallow, he said confidently: "In the name of God's servant Francis, I command you to come to me and to be silent at once." When it heard the name of Francis, it immediately became silent, as if it really had been trained by the teaching of the man of God, and entrusted itself to his hands as if to safe keeping. The surprised scholar immediately gave it back its freedom and heard its chattering no more.

6Another time when God's servant was preaching on the seashore at Gaeta, out of devotion, crowds rushed upon him in order to touch him. Horrified at people's acclaim, the servant of Christ jumped alone into a small boat that was drawn up on the shore. The boat began to move, as if it had both intellect and motion of itself, and, without the help of any oars, glided away from the shore, to the wonderment of all who witnessed it. When it had gone out some distance into the deep water, it stood motionless among the waves, as long as the holy man preached to the attentive crowd on the shore. When, after hearing the sermon, seeing the miracle, and receiving his blessing, the crowd went away and would no longer trouble him, the boat returned to land on its own.

Who, then, would be
so obstinate and lacking in piety
as to look down upon the preaching of Francis?
By his remarkable power,
not only creatures lacking reason learned obedience,
but even inanimate objects served him
when he preached, as if they had life.

7The Spirit of the Lord,
who had anointed and sent him,
and also Christ,
the power and the wisdom of God,

were with their servant Francis wherever he went
so that he might abound with words of sound teaching
and shine with miracles of great power.
For his word was like a blazing fire,
reaching the deepest parts
of the heart,

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Legenda Maior, Fontes Franciscani, p. 883-884


5 1In civitate namque Parmensi scholaris quidam indolis bonae cum sociis aliis studio diligenter intentus, dum importuna garrulitate cuiusdam infestaretur hirundinis, dicere coepit ad socios: 2« Haec hirundo una de illis est, quae virum Dei Franciscum ptaedicantem aliquando, donec silentium eis imponeret molestabant ». 3Et conversus ad hirundinem, fiducialiter ait: « In nomine servi Dei Francisci praecipio tibi, ut ad me veniens continuo conticescas ». 4At illa Francisci audito nomine, quasi viri Dei disciplinis edocta, et statim conticuit et ipsius manibus tamquam tutae custodiae se commisit. 5Stupefactus scholaris statim eam libertati restituit et eius garritum amplius non audivit.

6 1Alio quoque tempore cum famiulus Dei Gaietae semel in maris littore praedicaret, turbis prae devotione irruentibus, ut eum contingerent, horrens Christi servus tantum populorum applausum, in unam haerentem littori naviculam prosiliit solus. 2Illa vero tamquam si rationis participe motore moveretur intrinseco, sine aliquo remige, cernentibus et mirantibus cunctis, se longius a terra protraxit. 3Cum autem aliquanto spatio in maris altitudinem secessisset, stetit inter fluctus immobilis, quamdiu vir sanctus turbis exspectantibus in littore praedicavit. 4Cumque audito sermone et viso miraculo ac benedictione accepta, multitudo cederet, ne ipsum amplius molestaret, navicula proprio ductu ad terram reversa est.

5Quis igitur
tam obstinatae mentis esset et impiae,
quod praedicationem Francisci contemneret,
cuius miranda fiebat virtute,
ut non solum carentia ratione disciplinam susciperent,
verum etiam inanimata corpora
tamquam animata praedicanti servirent?

7 1Aderat equidem servo suo Francisco, ad quaecumque pergeret,
is qui eum unxerat et miserat,
Spiritus Domini
et ipse Dei virtus et sapientia
Christus,
ut sanae doctrinae verbis afflueret
et magnae potentiae miraculis coruscaret.
2Erat enim verbum eius velut ignis ardens,
penetrans intima cordis,

Francis of Assisi: Early Documents, vol. 2, p. 625