The Treatise on the Miracles of Saint Francis - 423 

45In the city of Sessa, in the neighborhood called "Le Colonne," the devil, destroyer of souls and killer of bodies, destroyed and leveled a house. He tried to destroy many children who were playing their children's games near that house, but trapped only one youth who was instantly killed by the falling house. Men and women heard the crash of the house and came running from all around. Raising beams here and there, they succeeded in restoring the dead son to his poor mother. She tore at her face and hair, sobbed bitterly, shed rivers of tears, and cried out as best she could, "Saint Francis, Saint Francis, give me back my son!" She was not alone: all the men and women there wept bitterly and cried, "Saint Francis, give this poor mother back her son!" After an hour of this pain the mother caught her breath, recovered her senses, and made this vow: "O Saint Francis, give back to me in my misery my beloved son! I will wreathe your altar with silver thread; I will cover it with a new altar cloth; and I will encircle your whole church with candles!" Since it was night, they placed the cadaver on a bed, waiting to bury him the following day. But about midnight the young man began to yawn; warmth returned to his limbs; and before daybreak he was fully revived and burst into shouts of praise. When all the people and the clergy saw him healthy and unharmed, they too rendered thanks to blessed Francis.

46In the village of Pomarico, in the mountains of Apulia, a mother and father had an only daughter, tender of age and tenderly loved. And since they did not expect any future offspring, she was the object of all their love, the motive for all their care. When she became deathly ill, the girl's mother and father considered themselves dead. Day and night they kept anxious watch over the child's care, but one morning they found her dead. Perhaps they had been negligent, overcome by sleep or the strain of their vigil. The mother, deprived of her daughter and with no hope of other offspring, seemed to die herself.

Friends and neighbors gathered for a very sad funeral and prepared to bury the lifeless body. The unhappy mother lay grief-stricken, and the depth of her sorrow kept her from noticing what was going on. In the meantime, Saint Francis with one companion visited the desolate woman and spoke these comforting words, "Do not weep, I will rekindle the light of your quenched lamp !" The woman jumped up, told everyone what Saint Francis had told her, and would not allow the body of the deceased to be carried away. Then the mother turned to her daughter, invoked the saint's name, and lifted her up safe and sound. We leave it to others to describe the




Francis of Assisi: Early Documents, vol. 2, p. 423