The Treatise on the Miracles of Saint Francis - 417 

they answered immediately. There was a woman offering a basket filled with beautiful bread, loaded with fish and crabcakes, and with honey and grapes heaped on top.

The table of the poor rejoices at this sight,
and, the cheap food is put away,
the delicacies are eaten today.
The doctor heaved a sigh and spoke to them:
"Neither you, brothers,
as you should,
nor we lay people,
realize the holiness of this man."
They would not have been sufficiently filled
if the miracle had not fed them even more than the food.
A father's eye
never looks down on his own,

but rather feeds beggars with greater care
the needier they are.

Chapter VI

37Jacoba dei Settesoli, equal in fame and holiness in the city of Rome, earned the privilege of special love from the saint. It is not for me to repeat, in praise of her, her noble lineage, family honor, and ample wealth, nor the great perfection of her virtues and long, chaste widowhood.

The saint was bedridden with that illness by which, putting off all his weariness, he was about to complete the race with a blessed ending. A few days before his death he decided to send for Lady Jacoba in Rome, telling her that if she wanted to see the one whom she so loved so warmly as an exile, she should come with all haste, because he was about to return to his homeland. A letter was written; a messenger noted for his swiftness was sought and, once found, was outfitted for the journey. Just then there was heard at the door the sound of horses, the commotion of knights, the crowd of an escort. One of the companions, the one who had given instructions to the messenger, went to the door and found there present the one whom he sought because absent. He was struck with wonder and ran very quickly to the saint. Unable to restrain himself for joy, said, "I have




Francis of Assisi: Early Documents, vol. 2, p. 417