From "The Little Flowers, Legends, and Lauds"

Edited by Otto Karrer,
Translated by N.Wydenbruck
1979, Sheed & Ward, London.

E.Morrogh Bernard,
Vicar General, Westminister
Aug.14, 1947

Monday, August 23, 2010

How Broterh Masseo asked St.Francis why all the world was following him (10)

Once St.Francis was staying at the hermitage of Portiuncula with Brother Masseo da Marignano, who was a man of great saintliness and discretion and endowed with much grace in speaking of God, for which reasons St.Francis held him in great affection. One day, as St.Francis was returning from praying in the wood, as he was just coming out of it, the said Brother Masseo went to meet him, and wishing to test his humility, went to meet and assuming a jeering tone, asked: "Why you? Why you? Why you?"

St.Francis answered: "What do you mean by that?"

Brother Masseo said: "I want to know why you should be the man all the world is running after and why everybody seems to want to see you, to listed to you and to obey you! You are not a man of handsome presence, you have no great scholarship, you are not noble; so why should all the world run after you?"

Hearing this, St.Francis rejoiced in his spirit and, lifting his face to heaven, remained a long time with his mind uplifted to God; then, coming back to himself, he knelt down and rendered thanks and praise to God and with great fervour of spirit turned to Brother Masseo and said: "You want to know why I should be the one all the world is running after? This is given me by the eyes of the Highest God which look upon the good and the wicked in every place. Because these most holy eyes could not find among the sinners one more vile, more miserable, more sinful than I, and because God could not find a viler creature on earth for the marvellous work which He intends to do, and because He has chosen me to confound the nobility, the greatness, the strength, the beauty and the wisdom of the world. And this He has done so that it may be recognized that all virtue and all good is of Him, and not of the creatures, and no man should glory in His presence, but "he that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord"(1 Cor. 1:31), whose is all honour and glory for ever and ever.

Then Brother Masseo, hearing so humble and answer uttered with such fervour, was afraid and understood that St.Francis was firmly rooted in true humility. Praised be Jesus Christ, Amen.

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