The Treatise on the Miracles of Saint Francis - 414 

once carried the pheasant back to the saint, telling him in order all that happened. As soon as it was placed on the ground, and saw its father, it threw off its sadness and began to eat with joy.

27A cricket lived in a fig tree by the cell of the holy one of God Mk 1:24 at the Portiuncula, and it would sing frequently with its usual sweetness. Once the blessed father stretched out his hand to it and gently called it to him: "My Sister Cricket, come to me!" And the cricket, as if it had reason, immediately climbed onto his hand. He said to it: "Sing, my sister cricket, and with joyful song praise the Lord your Creator!" The cricket, obeying without delay, began to chirp, and did not stop singing until the man of God, mixing his own songs with its praise, told it to return to its usual place. There it remained constantly for eight days, as if tied to the spot. Whenever the saint would come down from the cell he would always touch it with his hands and command it to sing, and it was always eager to obey his commands. And the saint said to his companions: "Let us give permission to our sister cricket to leave, who has up to now made us so happy with her praises, so that our flesh may not boast vainly in any way." And as soon as it had received permission, the cricket went away and never appeared there again. On seeing all this, the brothers were quite amazed.

28While he was staying in a poor place the holy man used to drink from a clay cup. After his departure, with wonderful skill bees had constructed the little cells of their honeycomb in it, wonderfully indicating the divine contemplation he drank in at that place.

29In Greccio a little hare, live and unharmed, was given to Saint Francis. When it was put down, free to run away where it pleased, at the saint's call it leapt quickly into his lap. The saint gently took it and kindly warned it not to let itself be caught again. He then gave it his blessing and ordered it to return to the woods.

30Something similar happened with another little rabbit, a wild one, when he was on the island in the Lake of Perugia.

31Once when the man of God was on a journey from Siena to the valley of Spoleto he passed a field where a sizeable flock of sheep were grazing. He greeted them kindly as he usually did, and they all ran to him, raised their heads and returned his friendly greeting with loud bleating. His vicar took careful note of what the sheep had done and, following at a slower pace with the other companions, said to the rest, "Did you see what these sheep did for the holy father? He is truly great Jb 1:1 whom the dumb animals revere as their father, and those lacking reason recognize as a friend of their Creator."




Francis of Assisi: Early Documents, vol. 2, p. 414