The Miracles Shown after His Death - 667 

saint's entry, the chains fell from his hands and his feet. The doors opened by themselves and the boards on the roof fell down; the man got away free and returned to his home. From then on he kept his vow to fast on the vigil of Saint Francis and, as a sign of his increasing devotion, each year to add an extra ounce to the candle he usually offered annually.

4When the Lord Pope Gregory IX was occupying the See of blessed Peter there arose an inevitable persecution of heretics. A certain Pietro from Alife was among those accused of heresy, and he was arrested in Rome. By order of the same Pontiff he was handed over to the bishop of Tivoli for safekeeping. The bishop took him, under threat of losing episcopal office, and so that he would not escape, bound him in leg irons and had him confined in a dark jail cell, providing him food by weight and drink by measure. But that man, with much weeping and praying, began to call on blessed Francis to take pity on him, as he had heard that the vigil of his solemnity was near. And since in purity of faith he had renounced every error of perverse heresy, and clung wholeheartedly to Christ's most faithful servant Francis, he merited to be heard by God through the intercession of blessed Francis's merits. So, on the night before his feast, around dusk, blessed Francis mercifully came down into the prison, called him by name, and ordered him to stand up. The man asked in great fear who was calling him, and heard that it was blessed Francis. He saw the chains on his feet break and fall suddenly to the ground by the powerful presence of the holy man; he saw the timbers of the cell opened with their nails sprung outward: there was a clear path for his escape. But once free, he was so astounded that he did not know enough to flee. Instead, he let out a cry and frightened all the guards. When the bishop was told that the man had been freed from his chains, once he understood what had happened, that pontiff devoutly went to the prison, and openly acknowledging the power of God, he there worshiped the Lord. The chains were sent to the Lord Pope and the Cardinals: on seeing what had happened, with much wonder they blessed God.

5Guidalotto of San Gimignano was falsely accused of poisoning a man, and further of intending to kill the man's son and the whole family with the same deadly means. He was arrested by the local podestà, who had him heavily chained and confined in a tower. But since he knew that he was innocent, he placed his trust in the Lord, and committed the defense of his cause to the patronage of blessed Francis. The podestà thought about what punishment he

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Legenda Maior, Fontes Franciscani, p. 936-938


5Ad cuius ingressum vincula de pedibus et catenae de manibus ceciderunt, sponte aperta sunt ostia, prosilierunt tabulae de solario, et liber abscessit homo ad propria rediens. 6Implevit ex tunc votum ieiunans vigiliam beati Francisci et cereo, quem annuatim consuevit offerre, in acerescentis devotionis indicium annuatim unam unciam superaddens.

4 1Residente in sede beati Petri domino Gregorio Nono, quidam Petrus nomine de civitate Alifia, de haeresi accusatus, Romae captus est et de mandato eiusdem Pontificis, ad custodiendum traditus episcopo Tiburtino. 2Quem sub poena episcopatus accipiens, compedibus alligavit obscuroque ipsum carcere, ne posset effugere, fecit includi, panem ei praebens in pondere et poculum in mensura. 3Coepit autem homo ille beatum Franciscum ad sui miserendum multis precibus et fletibus invocare, eo quod audierat solemnitatis eius iam adesse vigiliam. 4Et quoniam fidei puritate omnem abdicaverat haereticae pravitatis errorem totaque cordis devotione adhaeserat fidelissimo Christi servo Francisco, intercedentibus ipsius meritis, a Domino meruit exaudiri. 5Instante enim iam nocte suae festivitatis, circa crepusculum beatus Franciscus in carcerem miseratus descendit et illum suo nomine vocans, ut cito surgeret, imperavit. 6Qui timore perterritus, quisnam esset, interrogans, beatum Franciscum adesse audivit. 7Cumque virtute praesentiae viri sancti vincula pedum suorum confracta conspiceret cecidisse, et tabulas carceris clavis ultro prosilientibus aperiri, et apertum iter sibi ad exeundum praeberi: solutus tamen et obstupefactus fugere nesciebat, sed ad ianuam clamans, custodes omnes perterruit. 8Qui cum eum liberatum a vinculis episcopo nuntiassent, post intellectum ordinem rei, ad carcerem pontifex devotus accessit, et manifeste Dei virtutem cognoscens, ibidem Dominum adoravit. 9Vincula quoque coram domino Papa et cardinalibus delata fuerunt, qui, videntes quod factum fuerat, admirati plurimum benedixerunt Deum.

5 1Guidolottus de Sancto Geminiano falso accusatus fuit, quod veneno interemerat quemdam virum et quod eodem genere mortis filium eiusdem viri et universam eius familiam proposuerat enecare. 2Captus proinde a potestate terrae, gravissimis vinculis aggravatus, in turri quadam reclusus est. 3Ipse vero fiduciam habens in Domino, pro sua innocentia, quam sciebat, causam commisit beati Francisci patrocinio defendendam. 4Excogitante igitur potestate, qualiter criminis obiecti confessionem eliceret per tormenta qualibusque poenis confessum faceret interire,

Francis of Assisi: Early Documents, vol. 2, p. 667