A Book of the Praises of Saint Francis (1277-1283) - 54 

to be under the protection of the wings of the Son of God, each like those of the two Cherubim.

11That prelate is believed to have been Ralph whose entry into the Order has been established; he was a Master of Theology and the Bishop of Hereford.a Besides him, there were two other Ralphs, both doctors of theology, one of whom entered the Order at Paris in this way.b One time while he was studying, he fell asleep at his book. The devil appeared to him and threatened to take away his sight: "I will blind you with dung." He woke up but fell asleep again, when the devil again appeared to him and repeated the same words. He drove him away by putting his fingers to his eyes. "You will not blind me," he said, "I will blind you." On the following day, while he was sitting in the professor's chair, he received from England a thick letter from a bishop offering him revenue. Interpreting the money as the dung with which the devil wanted to blind him, he entered the Order of Lesser Brothers, scorning everything.

17Some time ago, I was traveling with the then celebrated general minister throughout parts of Germany and Flanders.c After many years I again had another meal with the brothers, one of whom had been a canon, a very venerable man, and who had been led to enter the Order by means of a remarkable cure and a vision. Perhaps I do not remember all the circumstances after what is now a long time, but I have no doubt about the entry and the cure of the person. I relate the probable fact just as I recall it.

19That canon was also a noble and respected person, who feared God and had a special devotion to the virgin saint, Euphemia.d Although he was, at that time, weak and advanced in age, yet he was concerned about the salvation of his soul which was accustomed to




Liber de Laudibus Beati Francisci, Fontes Franciscani, p. 1274-1275

ita et fratres ab ipsa Dei Matre sub velamento alarum Filii Dei ostenduntur tamquam utrique Cherubini bini et conformes.

11Praesul ante dictus creditur fuisse dominus Radulphus, de cuius constat ingressu, magister in theologia et episcopus Herfordensis. 12Praeter istum feruntur fuisse et alii duo Radulphi, ambo doctores theologi, quorum alter intravit Ordinem Parisius hoc modo. 13Cum semel studens obdormisset ad librum, apparuit ei diabolus et visum sibi auferre comminans dixit: « Ego te cum stercoribus excaecabo ». 14Evigilans magister cum iterum dormitaret, diabolum in visu sibi eadem replicantem et verbo et digitis usque ad oculos repulit dicens: « Non tu me, sed ego te excaecabo ». 15Et ecce die sequenti, cum sederet in cathedra lectionis, recepit ex Anglia litteras cuiusdam Episcopi pingues sibi reditus offerentis. 16Et interpretans divitias stercora, quibus eum diabolus excaecare volebat, contemptis omnibus, fratrum. Minorum Ordinem est ingressus.

17Iamdudum ego per Theotoniae partes et Flandriae cum Ministro transiens Generali celebri tunc, et post plures iterum annos repetita cum fratribus collatione accepi, quendam fuisse canonicum, venerabilem valde virum, ad ingressum Ordinis mira per visum curatione perductum. 18Non omnes forte per multa iam tempora circumstantias teneo, sed de ingressu et curatione personae non dubius, probabile prout recolo factum narro.

19Erat canonicus ille vir nobilis et reverenda persona, timens Dominum et beatae Euphemiae virgini speciali devotione subiectus. 20Qui quamvis delicatus et aetatis provectae iam esset, de salute tamen animae, quae solet in divitiis periclitari,

Francis of Assisi: Early Documents, vol. 3, p. 54