The Treatise on the Miracles of Saint Francis - 439 

thought that he had fled. Since he had not yet heard of the miracle, he was struck with fear and, since he was ill, fell from where he had been sitting. But once he understood what had happened, he devoutly went to the prison, and openly acknowledging the power of God, he there worshiped the Lord.

Later the chains were sent to the Lord Pope and the cardinals: on seeing what had happened, with much wonder they blessed God.

94Guidalotto of San Gimignano was falsely accused of poisoning a man, and further that he had intended to kill the man's son and the whole family with the same poison. He was arrested by the local podestà, who had him heavily chained and thrown into a ruined tower. The podestà thought about what punishment he could inflict on him, to obtain a confession of the crime through torture. He finally ordered him suspended from a revolving rack. He weighed him down with weights of iron until he fainted. Several times he ordered him let down and raised up again with the hope that one torment after another would more quickly bring him to confess his crime. But the man's face seemed joyful in an innocent way, showing no sign of sorrow in his pain. Then a rather large fire was lit beneath the man, but not a hair of his head was harmed while his head hung toward the ground. Finally, burning oil was poured over him, but he laughed through it all, because he was innocent and from the beginning had entrusted himself to blessed Francis. The night before he was to be punished, he had been visited by Saint Francis. He was surrounded by an immense bright light, and he remained in its light until morning, filled with joy and great confidence. Blessed be God, who does not allow the innocent to perish, and even in a flood of many waters is present to those who hope in Him.

Chapter XII

95A certain countess of Slavonia,a illustrious in nobility and a friend of goodness, had an ardent devotion to Saint Francis and a sincere affection for the brothers. She suffered severe pains at the time of childbirth; she was so overcome with pain that it appeared that the expected birth of the child would mean the demise of the mother. She seemed incapable of bringing the child into life unless she departed from life; and, by this effort, not to give birth but to




Francis of Assisi: Early Documents, vol. 2, p. 439