The Deeds of Blessed Francis & His Companions (1328-1337) - 505 

those predestined to life? You should believe me about this because I know the ones I have chosen. Don't believe the son of Pietro Bernardone, if he tells you otherwise. Don't even ask him about this subject because he and others don't know this, but I who am the Son of God surely know. Therefore, believe me, it's certain: you are among the number of the damned. And Brother Francis himself, your father is damned; and whoever follows him is being deceived."

7 Brother Rufino was so blinded by the prince of darkness that he already lost confidence and love for Saint Francis, and he did not bother to tell him about this. But the Holy Spirit revealed to the holy Father what Brother Rufino did not tell him. Therefore, the kind Father, seeing in spirit his brother's great danger, sent Brother Masseo for him, that at all costs he must come to him. Now Brother Rufino and Brother Francis were staying in the place on Mount Subasio near Assisi.a Brother Rufino replied to Brother Masseo: "What do I have to do with Brother Francis?"

10 Then Brother Masseo, a man completely filled with the wisdom of God, clearly recognized a trick of the wicked enemy and said: "Oh Brother Rufino, don't you know that Saint Francis is like an angel of God? He has enlightened so many souls in the world and through him we too have received so many gifts of divine grace. Therefore, I demand that you go to him at all costs, because I clearly see that you're deceived by the devil." Brother Rufino immediately went to Saint Francis.

12 And when Saint Francis saw him from a distance, he began to call out: "Oh, Brother Rufino, you bad little man, did you believe him?" And then Saint Francis described in detail the temptation he had, inside and out. The holy father then explained to him that it was the devil, not Christ who suggested these things; therefore, in no way should he give in to these suggestions: "But when he tells you: 'You are damned,' you answer firmly: 'Apri la bocca mo te caco!' Let this be a sign to you that he is the devil: as soon as you can say these words, he will run away. You should have recognized by now that he was the devil because your heart had become hardened to all good, which is precisely his work." But the blessed Christ never hardens the heart of a faithful person; in fact, he says: I will take away your hearts of stone and give you a heart of flesh. Ez 11:19 While Saint Francis in this way was describing thoroughly the course of the temptation which had harassed him both inside and out, Brother Rufino began to sob. And adoring the saint and humbly acknowledging his fault in hiding this from Saint Francis, and fully comforted in the Lord by the advice of




Francis of Assisi: Early Documents, vol. 3, p. 505