The Little Flowers of Saint Francis (after 1337) - 644 

God, one day Brother Pacifico, while praying in a solitary place, was rapt in ecstasy and saw the soul of his brother Umile ascending straight into heaven, without hesitation or obstacle, as it departed from the body.

It happened that many years later, this Brother Pacifico who remained, was assigned to the family in that place at Soffiano where his brother had died. At that time, at the request of the lords of Brunforte, the brothers moved from that place to another, and among other things they transferred the remains of the holy brothers who had died at that place. On coming to the tomb of Brother Umile, his brother, Brother Pacifico, took his bones and washed them with good wine and then wrapped them in a white napkin and, crying, kissed them with great reverence and devotion. The other brothers were surprised at this and did not take it as good example from him, because although he was a man of great holiness, it seemed that he was weeping over his brother because of sensual and worldly love, and that he showed more devotion toward his remains than toward those of the other brothers, who were no less holy than Brother Umile and deserved just as much reverence.

Brother Pacifico, knowing the sinister imagination of the brothers, humbly satisfied them by saying: "My dearest brothers, don't be surprised if I did for my brother's bones what I didn't do for others; but, blessed be God, it was not fleshly love that prompted me to do this, as you believe. I did this because when my brother passed from this life, I was praying in a deserted place far from him, and I saw his soul ascend straight to heaven, so I'm certain that his bones are holy and will be in Paradise. And if God had granted me such certainty about the other brothers, I would have shown that same reverence for their bones." Because of this the brothers, seeing his holy and devout intention, were much edified by him and praised God, who does such marvelous things for his holy brothers.

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




Francis of Assisi: Early Documents, vol. 3, p. 644