Miscellaneous Franciscan Sources - 792 

well.a The following selection mentioning Saint Francis is noteworthy for attesting to the great friendship between him and Brother Pacifico, and the latter's testimony of the stigmata. Thomas died in the early 1280's.b


1 As I saw with my own eyes, Brother Pacifico, a man of such remarkable holiness that he was called "sweet mother" by blessed Francis,c used to have a little [writing] board. He had fashioned it out of a piece of wood from a walnut tree he found growing beside the altar of a ruined church. As soon as he had hacked out the piece of wood, the image of a crucifix appeared on it—not in relief, but smooth, as if it were painted on. But this was not the work of the corruptible hand of an artist; it was something naturally impressed on that board by the hand of divine wisdom. And so this brother always used to carry this tablet with him out of reverence for the Crucified Christ, along with a few relics of saints.

2 This is the same Pacifico who merited seeing those sacred stigmata, which are worthy of the admiration of the whole world, on the body of that most blessed man, Francis, while he was still living in the flesh. This is the same Pacifico who, by means of a pious deception but with the greatest devotion, touched the wound that was in Francis's side. And this is the same Pacifico who, while he was still caught up in the vanity [of the world], saw two swords connected in the form of a cross issuing from the mouth of the most holy father while he was preaching. Terrified by this miracle, he was converted and became one of the outstanding imitators of Saint Francis. It is no coincidence, then, that this man, who was such an ardent lover of the cross, should have discovered a cross which nature had fashioned on a piece of wood.


Thomas is also the source of more anecdotes about Francis, which do not occur in his own works, but are recalled by an anonymous Tuscan brother who gathered together a large number of early stories.d This account, which probably dates to sometime in the later thirteenth or early fourteenth cen-

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Francis of Assisi: Early Documents, vol. 3, p. 792