The Deeds of Blessed Francis & His Companions (1328-1337) - 512 

innocence. Therefore, among all the companions of the holy father, that same Brother Leo was the one who knew more about his secrets and marvels.

3 He frequently saw him lifted up into the air, as will be told below.a He frequently heard him speaking with Christ, with the Blessed Virgin and the angels. Moreover, he saw a fiery light descending from the heavens upon Saint Francis, and he heard a voice from that light speaking with him.

5 One day when they were traveling together, he saw a very beautiful cross moving along facing the holy father, and Christ hanging on it. He also saw that this marvelous cross would stop when Saint Francis did, and when he walked, it walked too; and wherever Saint Francis turned, the cross went forward, facing him. That cross was so brilliant that it illuminated not only the saint's face but also made the air all around beautiful and bright. And Brother Leo saw all these things in clear light.

8 Saint Francis gave wonderful consolation to Brother Leo not only when the saint was alive, but even after his death he appeared to him frequently. Once when Brother Leo was keeping vigil in prayer, Saint Francis appeared to him and said: "Oh, Brother Leo, do you remember this? When I was in the world that I predicted a great famine would come over the whole world, and I said that I knew a certain little poor man for love of whom God would relent; and while this little poor man was living, the plague of famine would not be sent?" Brother Leo responded: "I remember well, most holy Father." Then Saint Francis said: "I was that creature, that little poor man, for love of whom God did not send famine on people, but out of humility I did not wish to reveal this. Know for certain now, Brother Leo, that now that I have left this world, a terrible world-wide famine will come upon earth, and many people will die from hunger."

12 And so it happened. About six months after these words, such a great famine raged everywhere that people would eat not only the roots of plants but also the bark of trees, and because of this a very great number of people died from hunger. From what has been said, the innocence of Brother Leo, Saint Francis's friendship with God, and his infallible prophecy are evident.b

To the praise and glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.




Francis of Assisi: Early Documents, vol. 3, p. 512