A Life of Saint Francis by an Anonymous Monk of a German Monastery - 864 

embarrassment, and he knew the holy father had caught him. He fell at his feet and, with tears in his eyes, he exposed his thoughts and begged forgiveness.

72 Another brother named Riccerio, noble by birth, had such confidence in the holy man Francis that he thought that any person he loved was also loved by God, and that someone to whom he showed himself to be a stranger, would also be considered a stranger by God. And because he was fearful, he thought that the holy man Francis could not love him, and because of this he was terrified for a long time. He did not dare to reveal completely to anyone what he was suffering internally. One day, therefore, when he was disturbed by this usual thought, he by chance passed by the holy father's cell, and he called to him, and said: "Let no thought disturb you, son, since you are very dear to me, and I love you with a special love. When you want to be free from anxiety, come to me, and confer with me about anything you wish." The brother was amazed and he wondered from what source the holy father had received this knowledge, and, from then on, he made great progress both in friendship with Francis and in the grace of God.

XXIV: Prophecy

73 At the time when the Christian army was besieging Damietta, Saint Francis was there with his companions: with a desire for martyrdom, he had sailed across the sea. On the day when the Christians were preparing themselves for battle and he heard about it, the man of God was deeply grieved and he said to his companion: "If they come together now, the Lord has revealed to me that it will not go well for the Christians. But if I say this, they will take me for a fool. If I keep silent, my conscience will torment me." His companion replied: "Unburden your conscience, and don't give the least thought to how people judge you." Therefore, Saint Francis forbade the Christians with warnings to save them from going to war by announcing what would happen in the future. The truth of both things which the saint had predicted became apparent when they ignored his advice and the Christians were overcome in battle, so that six thousand of them were captured and killed. Compassion for them drove the holy man, no less than regret, for spurning his advice pressed down upon them more.

74 When Lord Hugo was still Bishop of Ostia, the holy father was made aware through divine revelation that the Bishop would become the Supreme Pontiff of the future Church militant. Thus,




Francis of Assisi: Early Documents, vol. 3, p. 864