The Treatise on the Miracles of Saint Francis - 437 

90Five officials of a great prince were arrested under suspicion. They were not only sturdily chained together but also confined to a very narrow prison. When they heard that blessed Francis was shining through miracles everywhere, they devoutly entrusted themselves to him. One night Saint Francis appeared to one of them and promised them the favor of freedom. The one who saw the vision was overjoyed and told his fellow captives about the promised favor. Though still in the dark, they both wept and rejoiced. They made their vows and prayed repeatedly. One of them immediately began to scratch the thick wall of the tower with a bone; its mortar gave way so easily that it seemed a mixture of ashes. When the wall was breached he tried to pass through, and with their chains broken, one after the other they reached freedom. There was still a steep drop that blocked their escape. But Francis, their bold leader, gave them the boldness to climb down. So they went off unharmed and got away safely; they became great heralds of the mighty works of this saint.

91Alberto of Arezzo was being held tightly in chains for debts unjustly charged to him. He humbly placed his innocence before Saint Francis. He greatly loved the Order of the brothers and venerated Francis with special affection among all the saints. His creditor had made the blasphemous statement that neither God nor Francis would be able to deliver him from his hands. Dn 3:17

On the vigil of the feast of Saint Francis the bound man had eaten nothing, but out of love for the saint had given his meal to someone in need. As night fell, Saint Francis appeared to him during his vigil. At the 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 to make an annual offering of a candle, to which each year he added an extra ounce.

92A young man from the region of Città di Castelloa was accused of arson. As he lay shackled in a harsh prison, he humbly entrusted his case to Saint Francis. One night, as he was restrained by both chains and guards, he heard a voice saying to him, "Get up quickly and go where you like, for your chains are loosed!" He lost no time in obeying the command, and once outside the jail he took the road to Assisi to offer to his liberator a sacrifice of praise.

93When the Lord Pope Gregory IXb was occupying the see of blessed Peter there arose an inevitable persecution of heretics. A




Francis of Assisi: Early Documents, vol. 2, p. 437