The Minor Legend - 706 

Fifth Lesson

Once while he was staying in the hermitage of Greccio, the people of that place were burdened by many disasters. Every year hailstorms destroyed their wheat fields and vineyards while a pack of raging wolves devoured not only animals but even people. The servant of the all powerful Lord was filled with a benevolent compassion for those sorely afflicted people. He promised and guaranteed them personally in a public sermon that the entire pestilence would vanish if they would confess their sins and be willing to bring froth fruits worthy of repentance. From the very time that the people began doing penance at his exhortation the disasters ceased, the dangers vanished, and neither the wolves nor the hail caused any more trouble. Dn 3:50 And even more remarkable, whenever the hail, falling on neighboring fields, reached the boundaries of these people, either it would stop or move off in a different direction.

Sixth Lesson

At another time the man of God was journeying around the valley of Spoleto in order to preach. As he was approaching Bevagna, he came upon a place where a very large flock of birds of various kinds had gathered. Looking at them with affection, the Spirit of the Lord came upon him, and he hurriedly ran to the spot, eagerly greeted them, and commanded them to be silent, so that they might attentively listen to the word of God. While he recounted many things about the benefits of God to these creatures, who were gathered together, and about the praises that should be returned to him by them, they began to flutter about in a wonderful way; they stretched their necks, spread out their wings, opened their beaks, and looked attentively at him, as if they were trying to experience the marvelous power of his words. It was only proper that this man, full of God, Gn 41:38 was led by a humane and tender affection to such irrational creatures. For their part, those birds were drawn to him so remarkably that they listened to him when he was instructing them, obeyed him when he commanded them, flocked to him without fear when he bid them welcome, and, without distress, remained with him.

Seventh Lesson

When he had tried to go overseas to pursue the palm of martyrdom, he was impeded by storms at sea from accomplishing his purpose. The Director of all things remained with him to such an extent




Legenda Minor, Fontes Franciscani, p. 996-998

Lectio quinta.

5 1Moram eo faciente tempore quodam in eremitorio Graecii, loci illius indigenae malis adeo multiplicibus gravabantur, quod et grando annua tempestate blada vastabat et vineas, et luporum multitudo rapacium non solum bruta, sed et homines consumebat. 2Sic igitur vehementer afflictis omnipotentis Domini famulus benigne compatiens, in publica illis praedicatione promisit seque fideiussorem eis instituit, quod pestilentia illa omnis abscederet, si confessione praemissa, dignos poenitentiae fructus facere vellent. 3Ab fila itaque hora, poenitentiam ad exhortationem ipsius agentibus illis, cessaverunt clades, periere pericula, nec molestiae quidquam intulere lupi vel grandines; 4immo, quod maius est, si quando vicinorum arva grando pervaderet, istorum terminis appropinquans aut terminabatur ibidem, aut in partem aliam divertebat.

Lectio sexta.

6 1Alio quoque tempore, cum praedicationis causa vir Dei vallem Spoletanam circuiens, appropinquasset Bevanio, ad quemdam locum devenit, in quo diversi generis avium maxima multitudo convenerat. 2Quas oculo pio conspiciens, irruente in se Spiritu Domini, velociter cucurrit ad locum, illisque salutatis alacriter, ut verbum Dei attente audirent, silentium imperavit. 3Cum autem plura de beneficiis Dei, creaturis collatis et laudibus ei ab ipsis reddendis loqueretur aviculis, illae modo mirabili gestientes coeperunt extendere colla, protendere alas, aperire rostra et in ipsum attente respicere, tamquam si eloquiorum eius admirabilem conarentur sentire virtutem. - 4Iuste quidem vir Deo plenus ad creaturas huiusmodi ratione carentes pio ferebatur humanitatis affectu, cum et illae versa vice tam miro modo inclinarentur ad ipsum, ut instruenti attenderent et praecipienti parerent et ad suscipientem cum securitate confugerent et apud retinentem sine difficultate manerent.

Lectio septima.

7 1Tempore vero, quo pro palma consequenda martyrii ad partes ultramarinas transire tentaverat, nec tamen id consummare valuerat, maris tempestatibus praepeditus, adeo sibi adstitit Gubernatoris omnium dignativa provisio,

Francis of Assisi: Early Documents, vol. 2, p. 706