The Deeds of Blessed Francis & His Companions (1328-1337) - 504 

passage of the Bible he was asked to explain. Because his mind was entirely released from earthly things, he flew like a swallow to the heights, and sometimes for twenty days, sometimes for thirty, he would fly alone among mountain peaks, contemplating only heavenly things. For this reason holy Brother Giles used to say that God did not give to everyone this gift, which had been given to Brother Bernard of Quintavalle, that like a swallow he could feed himself while flying.a Because of this outstanding gift given to him by the Lord, Saint Francis often and gladly conversed with him for whole days and nights. Sometimes both together were found rapt into the Lord for the whole night in the woods where they met to speak about the Lord Jesus Christ, who is blessed forever.



1 At one time while blessed Francis was still alive, Brother Rufino, one of the more noble men of Assisi and a companion of blessed Francis, was being seriously harassed in soul by the devil about predestination.c The ancient enemy suggested to him that he was not among those predestined to life and that he was wasting whatever he was doing in service to the religion. Because of this harassment which went on in his mind for many days, he was overcome with sadness and melancholy and he was ashamed to tell Saint Francis about his struggle. But he never gave up his usual prayers.

3 But the ancient enemy, wishing to add sorrow upon sorrow for him, which deeply wounds servants of God, also added an external struggle to the internal one. The devil appeared to him under the appearance of the Crucified and said: "Oh Brother Rufino, why do you afflict yourself with prayers and penance, since you are not among




Francis of Assisi: Early Documents, vol. 3, p. 504