The Deeds of Blessed Francis & His Companions (1328-1337) - 480 

quiet which I always find here. And out of love for God and for me, allow the little poor ones, everyone, to take your grapes. On behalf of Our Blessed Lord Jesus Christ I promise you that this year you will harvest twenty barrels of wine." Saint Francis did this because of the great salvation of souls which the Lord was accomplishing there. For he saw many of those who came inebriated with divine love and, forgetful of the world, turned toward desire for heaven. For this reason, he judged that it was better that a material vineyard be demolished than that the vineyard of the Lord of hosts become fruitless for making heavenly wine.

18 The priest trusted the promises of the saint, and gladly left the vineyard as food for the people arriving. It was quite amazing: the vineyard was completely demolished, everything devoured by visitors; only small bunches remained. However, when harvest-time came, the priest still trusted the promise of the saint. He collected those few bunches of grapes and placed them in the winepress as usual. True to the promise of Saint Francis, he obtained twenty barrels of the best wine. By this miracle it was clearly shown that just as by the merits of Saint Francis the vineyard stripped of grapes produced wine more abundantly, so by the teaching of Saint Francis the Christian people out of fruitlessness of sin overflowed with the rich fruit of penance.

To the praise of our Lord Jesus Christ, Who is blessed forever.


1 A young man, very noble and refined, came to the Order of Saint Francis. He was clothed in the habit of the brothers, but after a few days, at the instigation of the devil, he began to feel such an aversion for the habit he wore that it seemed to him a worthless sack. He despised the sleeves and hated the capuche, and thought that the length of the tunic and its roughness were an unbearable burden. And so it happened that his annoyance with the religion increased and he decided to throw away the habit entirely and go back to the vomit of the world. However his master, the one in charge of him from the beginning, had taught him to kneel with great reverence, uncover his head and with folded hands, bow whenever he passed in front of the convent altar, on which the most holy Body of Christ was reserved. This young man always observed this carefully.




Francis of Assisi: Early Documents, vol. 3, p. 480