The Little Flowers of Saint Francis (after 1337) - 618 

his usual prayers and fasting; so the enemy began to add sorrow to sorrow; and besides the battle inside, also attacked him with false apparitions.

Thus one time the demon appeared to him in the form of the Crucified and said to him: "Oh Brother Rufino, why do you afflict yourself with penance and prayer, since you are not among those predestined to eternal life? Believe me, because I know whom I have chosen and predestined; and don't believe the son of Pietro Bernardone if he should say the opposite; and don't ask him about this matter because neither he nor others know it, but only I who am the Son of God. Therefore believe me: you are certainly among the number of the damned. And the son of Pietro Bernardone, your father, and also his father are damned, and whoever follows him is being deceived." And after these words were spoken Brother Rufino began to be so darkened by the prince of darkness that he had already lost all the faith and love he had for Saint Francis, and he did not bother to tell him anything about this.

But the Holy Spirit revealed to the holy father what Brother Rufino did not say. Therefore Saint Francis, seeing in spirit the great danger to this brother, sent Brother Masseo to get him, but Brother Rufino replied to him, grumbling: "What do I have to do with Brother Francis?" Then Brother Masseo, completely filled with divine wisdom, and recognizing the deceit of the demon, said: "Oh Brother Rufino, don't you know? Saint Francis is like an angel of God, who has illuminated so many souls in the world; and we have received from him the grace of God. So I want you absolutely to come with me to see him, because I clearly see that you are deceived by the demon." When this was said, Brother Rufino got up and went to Saint Francis.

And when Saint Francis saw him coming at a distance, he began to call out: "Oh, Brother Rufino, bad little man, whom did you believe?" And as Brother Rufino reached him, Saint Francis told him in detail the temptation he had had from the demon, inside and out, clearly showing him that the one who had appeared to him was the demon, and not Christ; and that, in no way should he consent to these suggestions, "But the next time the demon tells you, 'You are damned,' you tell him: 'Open your mouth and I'll shit in it.' This will be a sign for you that he is the devil and not Christ, that once you give this reply, he will flee immediately. You still should have recognized that he was the devil because by this he hardened your heart to all good: that is his special work. But the blessed Christ never hardens the heart of a faithful person; in fact, He softens it, as He says through the mouth of the prophet: 'I will take away your hearts of stone Ez 36:26




Francis of Assisi: Early Documents, vol. 3, p. 618