The Little Flowers of Saint Francis (after 1337) - 642 

returned to the Province of the March, he lived in it for thirty years, and was not recognized by any of his relatives, and every day he awaited the mercy of God, that He would fulfill the promise. And during this time he carried out several times the office of Guardian with great discernment, and through him God worked many miracles.

And, among the other gifts he had from God, he had the spirit of prophecy. Thus one time while he was away from the place, one of his novices was attacked by the demon and so strongly tempted that, consenting to the temptation, he decided within himself to leave the Order as soon as Brother John returned. Brother John, knowing through the spirit of prophecy about the temptation and the decision, returned home immediately and called that novice to him, and told him that he wanted him to go to confession. But before he made his confession Brother John told him in detail all about his temptation, as God had revealed it to him, and concluded: "Son, because you waited for me and didn't want to leave without my blessing, God grants you this grace: you will never leave this Order, but you will die in the Order, with divine grace." Then that novice was confirmed in his good will and, remaining in the Order, became a holy brother. And he recounted all these things to me, Brother Ugolino.

That same Brother John was a man with a joyful and tranquil spirit, and he rarely spoke. He was a man of great prayer and devotion, and in particular he never returned to the cell after matins, but stayed in church praying until day. One night after matins when he was praying, an angel of the Lord appeared to him and said: "Brother John, that journey of yours, for which you have been awaiting for a long time, is finished. Therefore, I announce to you on God's behalf that you may ask for any grace you wish, and I also announce to you that you may choose whichever you want: either one day in Purgatory or seven days of punishment in this world." Brother John chose the seven days of punishment in this world, and suddenly became ill with various illnesses. He got a high fever, gout in the hands and feet, pain in his side and many other pains. But what hurt him most was a demon who stood before him, holding in his hand a big chart, and written on it were all the sins he had ever done or thought, and he said: "Because of these sins which you did in thought, word and deed, you are damned to the depths of hell." And Brother John could not remember anything good he had ever done, nor that he was in the Order or had ever been in it, but thought that he was damned, as the demon told him. Therefore, when asked how he was, he replied: "Bad, because I'm damned." Seeing this, the brothers sent for an old brother named Brother Matteo of Monte Rubbiano, who was a holy




Francis of Assisi: Early Documents, vol. 3, p. 642