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

Sunday, September 19, 2010

How St.Francis freed a friar from the Devil (23)

Once when St.Francis was praying in the hermitage of Portiuncula, he was vouchsafed a vision in which he saw the whole place surrounded and besieged by demons, as by a great army. But not one of them could penetrate inside the place, because the brothers there were of such saintliness that they could find none through whom they might enter. But as they persevered, one of those brothers quarreled with another and planned in his heart how he might accuse the other and be revenged on him. Therefore, as this brother was harbouring this wicked thought, the devil found the door open and entered into the house, and set himself upon that brother's neck.

The compassionate and solicitous shepherd who ever watched over his flocks saw that the wolf had come in to devour one of his lambs, and forthwith he sent for that brother. And he commanded him instantly to confess the poisonous hatred he had conceived against his neighbor, for which reason he had fallen into the hands of the enemy. Terrified at seeing his secret thoughts known by the holy father, he revealed all his venom and rancour and admitted his sin, pleading humbly for a merciful penance. Then he received absolution from his sin, and when he had received penance the devil immediately got him gone before St.Francis.

And the friar, having thus been freed from the clutches of the cruel beast by the loving kindness of the good shepherd, gave thanks to God and returned corrected and chastened to the flock of that holy shepherd where he lived from then on in great sanctity. Praise be to Christ, Amen.

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