The Miracles Shown after His Death - 666 

Saint Francis and, by a vow, commended the innocent man to his compassion. Quickly the helper of the afflicted was present, and mercifully visited the imprisoned man. He loosened the chains, broke open the jail, took the innocent man by the hand, and led him out. "I am the one to whom your mistress devoutly commended you," he said. The man shook with fear as he wandered at the edge of a precipice, looking for a way to descend from the very high cliff. Suddenly he found himself on level ground through the power of his deliverer. He went back to his lady and told her his miraculous story, all in order. He inspired his devout lady to the even greater love for Christ and reverence for his servant Francis.

2In Massa San Pietroa a poor fellow owed a certain knight a sum of money. Since he had no means of paying the debt, the knight had him confined as a debtor. He humbly asked for mercy and, interjecting prayers, requested a deferral for love of Saint Francis. The knight haughtily scorned his prayers; he stupidly mocked the love of the saint as something stupid. He obstinately replied, "I will lock you up in such a place and put you in such a prison that neither Francis nor anyone else will be able to help you." And he attempted to do what he said. He found a dark prison and threw the chained man into it. A short time later Saint Francis arrived and broke open the prison; he shattered the man's leg-irons and led him to his own home unharmed.

Thus the strength of Francis plundered the proud knight
and delivered from evil
the captive who had made himself his subject,

and turned the knight's impudence into meekness
by an amazing miracle.

3Alberto of Arezzo was being held tightly in chains for debts unjustly charged to him. He humbly placed his innocence before Saint Francis. He greatly loved the Order of the Lesser Brothers and venerated Francis with special affection among all the saints. His creditor had made the blasphemous statement that neither God nor Francis would be able to deliver him from his hands. Dn 3:17 On the vigil of the feast of Saint Francis, the bound man had eaten nothing, but out of love for the saint had given his meal to someone in need. As night fell, Saint Francis appeared to him during his vigil.b At the

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Legenda Maior, Fontes Franciscani, p. 935-936


recurrit domina supplexad sanctum Franciscum et eius pietati voto commendavit insontem. 4Protinus affuit miserorum adiutor et virum in carcere positum misericorditer visitavit. 5Solvit vincula, carcerem fregit, innocentem manibus apprehensum foras eduxit et ait: « Ego sum ille cui domina tua te devote commisit ». 6Cumque file timore magno corriperetur et pro descensu altissimae rupis voraginem circuiret, subito liberatoris sui virtute inveniens se in plano, rediit ad dominam suam; 7relataque per ordinem miraculi veritate, devotam dominam ad Christi. amorem et reverentiam servi eius Francisci ferventius inflammavit.

2 1In Massa Sancti Petri cuidam militi debebat pecuniae quantitatem pauperculus quidam. 2Cumque prae inopia facultas non suppeteret persolvendi, captus debitor a milite repetente, misereri sibi orabat suppliciter, dilationem quaerens amore beati Francisci. 3Sprevit superbus miles preces oblatas et Sancti amorem veluti inane quid inaniter vilipendit. 4Nam cervicose respondens: « Tali te », ait, « loco recludam et tali retrudam carcere, quod nec Franciscus nec aliquis te poterit adiuvare ». 5Tentavit quod dixit. Carcerem adinvenit obscurum, in quo hominem vinculatum coniecit. 6Paulo post affuit sanctus Franciscus, et fracto carcere ruptisque compedibus, illaesum hominem reduxit ad propria.

7Sic fortitudo Francisci, militem praedata superbum,
captivum, qui se sibi subiecerat,
liberavit a malo
militisque proterviam mirando miraculo
in mansuetudinem commutavit.

3 1Albertus de Aretio, cum in vinculis arctissimis teneretur pro debitis iniuste ab eo petitis, suam innocentiam sancto Francisco humiliter commendavit. 2Ordinem quidem fratrum Minorum plurimum diligebat et sanctum Franciscum inter Sanctos speciali venerabatur affectu. 3Dixit autem creditor suus voce blasphema, quod nec Franciscus nec Deus posset eum de suis manibus liberare. 4Factum est itaque in vigilia sancti Francisci, cum vinctus ille nihil comedisset, sed ob Sancti amorem victum suum cuidam tribuisset egeno, nocte veniente apparuit ei vigilanti sanctus Franciscus.

Francis of Assisi: Early Documents, vol. 2, p. 666