The Little Flowers of Saint Francis (after 1337) - 605 

were of such holiness that there was no place for them to enter. But they persevered, and one day one of those brothers was offended by another, and thought in his heart how he could accuse him and get revenge against him. Hence, while he remained in these bad thoughts, the demon, finding the entrance open, entered the place, and settled on the neck of that brother. The merciful and caring shepherd, who always kept watch over his flocks, saw that the wolf had entered to devour this little sheep of his, had the brother called to him at once, and commanded him to disclose immediately the poison of hatred he conceived against his neighbor, because of which he was in the enemy's hands. Terrified, seeing that the holy father knew, he disclosed all the poison and rancor, recognized his fault and humbly asked for a penance with mercy. When this was done, and he was absolved from his sin and had received a penance, the demon immediately left in front of Saint Francis, and the brother, freed from the hands of the cruel beast by the goodness of the good shepherd, gave thanks to God, and returned, corrected and instructed, to the flock of the holy shepherd, and lived from then on in great holiness.

To the praise of Jesus Christ
and the little poor man Francis.

Chapter 24

Saint Francis, urged by zeal for the faith of Christ and desire for martyrdom, once went overseas with twelve of his most holy companions, headed toward the Sultan of the land of Babylon. They reached the territory of the Saracens, where some very cruel men guarded the roads so that no Christian who passed there could escape without being killed. But, as it pleased God, they were not killed but were captured, beaten and bound, and led before the Sultan. And once in his presence Saint Francis, instructed by the Holy Spirit, preached in a divine way about the faith of Christ, and that for this faith they were willing to go into the fire. As a result, the Sultan began to have great devotion for him both because of the constancy of his faith and the contempt of the world that he saw in him, since he did not want to receive any gift from him, though he was very poor, and because of the fervent longing for martyrdom he saw in




Francis of Assisi: Early Documents, vol. 3, p. 605