The Deeds of Blessed Francis & His Companions (1328-1337) - 458 

valleys all around more than if the brilliance of the sun had appeared there.a All the shepherds who were awake and keeping watch with the sheep Lk 2:8 in this region were witnesses to this. Why these sacred stigmata had been impressed on Saint Francis has not become entirely clear. But as Francis himself said to his companions, this great mystery is being put off for the future.

71 Brother James de Massa received this account from the mouth of Brother Leo, and Brother Ugolino of Monte Santa Maria had it from the mouth of this Brother James, and I, the writer, had it from the mouth of Brother Ugolino. All these were men worthy of trust in all things.

To the praise of our Lord Jesus Christ.


1 At one time Saint Francis was staying at Saint Mary of the Portiuncula with Brother Masseo who possessed in abundance the grace of God's word, and great discretion. For this he was greatly loved by the saint. One day Saint Francis was returning from the woods where he was praying, and had already reached the exit from the woods. Brother Masseo met him and wanted to see how humble he was. He said to Saint Francis: "Why you? Why you? Why you?" Saint Francis replied: "What does Brother Masseo mean?" "The whole world Jn 12:19 seems to be coming after you, and everyone is seeking to see you, to hear you, and to obey you: you are not a handsome man; you are not a man of great knowledge or wisdom; you are not of noble birth! Why does the whole world come to you?" Hearing this, Saint Francis became joyful in spirit. He raised his countenance to heaven and stood for a long period of time with his mind directed toward God. Then returning to himself, he dropped to his knees, praising and giving thanks to God with great spiritual fervor. Then turning to Brother Masseo he said: "You want to know why me? You want to know why me? You want to know, and well you should, why me; why the whole world comes after me? I know this from those most holy eyes of God Who everywhere sees the good and the bad. Those blessed and most holy eyes have not seen among the bad a greater sinner than me or one more unqualified and more vile. And




Francis of Assisi: Early Documents, vol. 3, p. 458