The Life of Saint Francis by Thomas of Celano - 302 

himself drinking up demons. He was possessed by them for three years, and he used to do things dreadful to see and worse to tell. When he came to the sepulcher of the most holy Father, the demons were furious and mauled him savagely. By an outstanding miracle, he was marvelously delivered from them when he touched the tomb.

138 A woman in the city of Narni was driven by a most violent madness, and since she was out of her mind, would do dreadful things and say very inappropriate things. Blessed Francis appeared to her in a vision and said: “Make the sign of the cross!” “I can’t,” Nm 12:6 she replied. The Saint himself made the sign of the cross on her and drove out all trace of her insanity and the phantoms of the demons.

Many other men and women who were harassed by torments of evil spirits and led astray by their tricks were rescued from their power through the outstanding merits of the holy and glorious father.

However, since deception frequently comes into question with people of this kind, we shall pass them by with this brief account, and go on to the most impressive cases.

Chapter IV

139 A little boy named Matteo, from the city of Todi, lay on his bed Mt 9:2 for eight days as if dead. His mouth was tightly closed; he could see nothing, the skin on his face and hands and feet became as black as a kettle, and everyone despaired of his life. But when his mother made a vow, he recovered with amazing speed. He had been throwing up putrid blood from his mouth so that it seemed as if he were losing his intestines. His mother immediately knelt down and humbly called on Saint Francis. As soon as she arose from prayer, the little boy opened his eyes, looked around, and took his mother’s breast. In a little while the black skin peeled off, his flesh returned to the way it was, and he was once again strong and healthy. As soon as he started to improve, his mother asked him: “Who cured you, my son?” In answer he lisped: “Cecco, Cecco.” Again she asked him: “Whose servant are you?” Again he answered: “Cecco, Cecco.” Since he was just a baby, he




Vita Prima, Fontes Franciscani, p. 413-414

visum est sibi daemones imbibisse. 3Sicque per tres annos, ab ipsis obsessus, horribilia visu et dictu pessima faciebat .4Veniens quoque ad tumbam sanctissimi patris, furentibus daemonibus et crudelissime discerpentibus eum, claro et manifesto miraculo ad tactum sepulcri eius mirifice liberatus est.

138 1Mulier quaedam in civitate Narnii, cum furia maxima duceretur et mente perdita, horribilia faceret et inconvenientia loqueretur, apparuit ei tandem beatus Franciscus in visione dicens: « Facias tibi crucem! ».2Et respondente illa: « Non possum », sanctus ipse signum crucis impressit ei, et omnem effugavit ab ea insaniae passionem et daemoniacam phantasiam...

3Viri quoque multi et feminae, variis daemonum cruciati suppliciis et decepti praestigiis, ab ipsorum potestate sancti et gloriosi patris praeclaris meritis sunt erepti.

4Verum quia illud hominum genus saepe solet implicare deceptio falsitatis, de his nos breviter expedientes, a maxima transeamus.

De infirmis a morte revocatis, de turgido, de hydropico, de arthritico, de paralyticis et aliis diversis infirmitatibus.

139 1Puer quidam Matthaeus nomine de civitate Tuderti, per octo dies quasi mortuus in lecto iacens a , ore penitus intercluso et lumine oculorum sublato, cute vultus, manuum et pedum ipsius ad modum ollae totaliter denigrata, et de salute vitae huius ab omnibus desperatus, ad votum matris suae mirabili velocitate convaluit.2Emittebat enim marcidum sanguinem per os suum, per quod etiam credebatur emittere intestina.3Statim vero ut mater eius sancti Francisci nomen flexis genibus suppliciter invocavit, surgente ab oratione, coepit puer oculos aperire, lumen videre ac sugere mammas, et paulo post, decidente corio nigro, caro pristina rediit, et convalescentiam viresque resumpsit .4Protinus namque ut convalescere coepit, interrogavit eum mater eius dicens: « Quis te liberavit, fili? » Et ille balbutiendo respondebat: « Ciccu, Ciccu ».5Et iterum interrogabant: « Cuius es servus? » Qui et denuo respondebat: « Ciccu, Ciccu ». 6Non enim poterat propter infantiam plene loqui,

Francis of Assisi: Early Documents, vol. 1, p. 302