The Deeds of Blessed Francis & His Companions (1328-1337) - 467 

He and blessed Clare sat down, and one of the companions of Saint Francis with the companion of Saint Clare, and all his other companions took their places on the ground at that table. For the first course Saint Francis began to speak about God in such a sweet, holy, exalted and divine way that Saint Francis himself, Saint Clare, her companion, and all the others who were at that poor little table, were enraptured by the abundance of the grace of the Most High which came over them.

12 While they were sitting there enraptured in this way with their eyes and hands raised to heaven, it seemed to the people of Assisi, Bettona and the area all around that Saint Mary of the Angels and the whole place and the woods, which then were still next to the place, were all burning, and that one huge fire was consuming everything: the church, the place and the woods. So to save the place, the people of Assisi came running very fast, firmly believing that everything was being destroyed by the fire. But, when they reached the place, they saw that everything was unharmed and completely intact. Entering the house they found blessed Francis with blessed Clare and all those companions caught up to the Lord, all sitting at that very humble table, clothed in power from on high. Lk 24:49 Then they knew with certainty that it was a divine fire which, because of the devotion of such holy men and holy women, inflamed that place with the abundant consolations of divine love. They departed from there greatly edified and consoled.

16 Blessed Francis and Blessed Clare and the others, restored by such abundant divine consolation, had little or no interest in other food. Then, having consumed such blessed food, Blessed Clare returned to San Damiano. Her sisters were very glad to see her, because they feared that Saint Francis wanted to send her to direct another monastery, as he had already sent her sister, Saint Agnes, to be the Abbess at Florence—at that time Saint Francis used to send those who directed outlying monasteries—and he once said to Saint Clare: "If it becomes necessary, be ready to go wherever I send you." As a daughter of true obedience, she said: "Father, I am ready to obey, wherever you send me." Because of this the sisters were glad to have her back, and Blessed Saint Clare from then on remained very consoled.a




Francis of Assisi: Early Documents, vol. 3, p. 467