The Deeds of Blessed Francis & His Companions (1328-1337) - 499 

wings were full-grown; he fell again onto the bridge and the wings fell off as before. Realizing that it was because of his haste that he could not fly, he said in his heart: "If I sprout wings a third time, I will wait until I won't fail in flying." And it seemed to him that from the first to the second and third time the wings sprouted, he waited for more than one hundred and fifty years. When it seemed to him that the wings had fully grown this third time, he raised himself powerfully into the air and flew to the hut where the angel had flown. When he arrived at the door of that remarkable dwelling, the porter said to him: "Who are you who are coming here?" The brother replied: "I am a Lesser Brother." "Wait," he said, "until I get Saint Francis to see if he recognizes you."

54 While the porter went for Saint Francis, the brother began to inspect the walls of this wonderful city, and those walls were so amazingly clear that he clearly saw everything that was happening inside, and the marvelous choirs of saints inside. While he was looking, he suddenly saw Saint Francis and holy Brother Bernard and Brother Giles, and behind Saint Francis such a great multitude of men and women saints of God following in his footsteps that they seemed innumerable. When Saint Francis reached him, he said to the porter: "Let him enter. He is one of my brothers." Then Saint Francis led him inside, pointing out many wonderful things to him. As soon as he entered, he experienced such consolation and sweetness that he forgot all the distress which he experienced before as if it never happened at all. Then Saint Francis said: "Son, you must return to the world and remain there for seven days. During this time make all possible preparations, because after seven days I will come for you and you will come with me to this wonderful place of the blessed."

59 Saint Francis was wrapped in a mantle decorated with very beautiful stars. His five stigmata were like five brightly glittering stars, which gleamed with such light that the whole city seemed to be illuminated by their rays. Brother Bernard had on his head the most beautiful crown of stars. Brother Giles was completely surrounded by a marvelous light. And he recognized many other holy Lesser Brothers there in glory with Saint Francis, brothers he had never seen before.

61 This brother was given permission, though reluctant, to return to the world. As he returned, the brothers were striking prime. No more time had passed than from after matins to the dawn of that same night, although it seemed many years to him.

62 This brother revealed in full the vision and the limit of seven days to his Guardian, and immediately he began to be ill with fever. On the seventh day Saint Francis came with a glorious company of




Francis of Assisi: Early Documents, vol. 3, p. 499