The Deeds of Blessed Francis & His Companions (1328-1337) - 524 

suffering from hunger and cold and exhaustion, they asked that tyrant through a messenger that for the love of the Lord Jesus Christ the master of the castle receive them as guests for the night. The tyrant, inspired by God, graciously received them, and he showed them great compassion and courtliness. He had a large fire set for them, and a meal fit for nobles.a

8 When the brothers and all the others took their places, one of the brothers who was a priest and had a special gift for speaking about God, noticed that none of those at table was speaking about God or discussing the salvation of souls. They were speaking only about the robbing and killing and many other evil deeds which they had done here and there, and they rejoiced in the very evil things and in the ungodliness which they had done everywhere. Therefore, when they had finished feeding the body, that brother, wishing to feed their host and the others with heavenly food, said to that lord: "My lord, you have shown us great courtliness and charity, and therefore we would be very ungrateful if we did not attempt to repay you with some good words about God. So we ask that you gather your whole household so that, for the gifts for the body we received from you, we may repay you with gifts for the spirit." The tyrant agreed to their requests and had everyone gather in front of the brothers.

12 The brother began to speak about the glory of paradise;b how there is eternal joy there, the company of the angels, the security of the blessed; there is also infinite glory there, an abundance of heavenly treasures, everlasting life, indescribable light, undisturbed peace, incorruptible health, the presence of God, everything good and nothing evil. But because of their sins and wretchedness people lose all these many good things and get hell instead: where there is sorrow and everlasting sadness, the company of demons, serpents and dragons; where there is infinite misery and life without life, palpable darkness and the presence of Lucifer; where there is trouble and anger, eternal fire and ice, worms and madness, hunger and thirst; where there is death without death, groans, and tears, gnashing of teeth and eternal torment; where there is all evil and the absence of all good. "All of you, as I have observed, are running fast to all this evil, for among you there is no evidence of any good deed or any good word. Therefore, I advise you and warn you, dear friends, that for the




Francis of Assisi: Early Documents, vol. 3, p. 524