The Treatise on the Miracles of Saint Francis - 451 

hearing! What will I tell the people?" His foster father replied, "You shall praise God, and you shall save many people." The people of that region, who had known the youth previously, were filled with the greatest wonder.

126A woman in the region of Apulia had long ago lost the ability to speak and to breathe freely. One night while she slept the Virgin Mary appeared to her and said, "If you want to be cured, go to the church of Saint Francis in Venosa; there you will receive the cure you desire." The woman got up, and since she could neither breathe nor speak, she indicated by signs to her relatives that she wanted to travel to Venosa. Her relatives agreed and accompanied her to the place. When the woman entered the church of Saint Francis, she poured out her heartfelt request, and immediately she vomited a mass of flesh and was marvelously healed in the sight of all.

127A woman in the diocese of Arezzo had been mute for seven years. She continually sent her wish to the ears of God, that He would see fit to loose her tongue. Amazing! While she slept two brothers dressed in red appeared and gently instructed her to vow herself to Saint Francis. She willingly took their advice and vowed in her heart, since she could not speak. She was soon roused, and on waking her speech returned.

128People were amazed when a judge named Alessandro, who had belittled the miracles of blessed Francis, was deprived of speech for more than six years. Great repentance overcame him, when he recognized that a man is tormented by the very things through which he sins, and he was sorry that he had ridiculed the saint's miracles. So the saint's anger did not last, and he restored his favor by repairing the man's speech, since he was repentant and humbly invoked him. From then on the judge dedicated his blasphemous tongue to praise of the blessed father. His suffering greatly increased his devotion.

129Since we have mentioned blasphemy, another event deserves mention. A knight named Gineldo from Borgo in the province of Massa shamelessly dismissed the works and miraculous signs of blessed Francis. He taunted the pilgrims on their way to observe the saint's feast, and he publicly babbled foolishness against the brothers.

One day while he was playing dice, in his madness and disbelief he said to the bystanders, "If Francis is a saint, let's see the dice roll eighteen!" On the next roll the dice showed three 6's, and for the next nine rolls, three 6's appeared each time. But the madman persisted; he added sin upon sin and piled blasphemy upon blasphemy. "If it's true that this Francis is a saint," he cried, "let my body fall by the sword today, and if he's not a saint, I'll be unharmed!" Scarcely




Francis of Assisi: Early Documents, vol. 2, p. 451