The Golden Legend: St. Francis
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Here followeth the Life of S. Francis,
first beginner of the friars minor, and first of his name.
Francis was first named John, but after his name was changed and was called
Francis. The cause of changing of his name was manifold. First, for the reason of his
marvellous changing, for it is known that he received of God by miracle the French tongue,
and it is said in his legend that when he was replenished of the grace of God, and of the
ardour of the Holy Ghost he pronounced out burning words in French. Secondly, by the
reason to publish his office, whereof is said in his legend that, the divine providence
gave to him that name, because of his singular and inaccustomed name, the opinion of his
mystery might be known throughout all the world. Thirdly, by reason of his office in
effect, whereupon was given to understand that by him and by his sons he should make many
servants of the devil and bond to sin, free. Fourthly, by reason of great courage and
magnanimity of heart. For Frenchmen be said of fierceness, for in them is natural
fierceness and great courage of heart. Fifthly, by reason of virtuosity in speaking, for
his word carved away the vices like an axe. Sixthly, by reason that he chased away
commonly the devils. Seventhly, by reason of honesty in his conversation, and of
perfection of work. And it is said that some signs that were borne in Rome tofore the
consuls, which were in terror of the people and in worship, were called Franciscas.
Of S. Francis.
Francis, servant and friend of Almighty God, was born in the city of Assisi, and was
made a merchant unto the twenty-fifth year of his age, and wasted his time by living
vainly, whom our Lord corrected by the scourge of sickness, and suddenly changed him into
another man, so that he began to shine by the spirit of prophecy. For on a time he with
other men of Perugia was taken prisoner, and were put in a cruel prison, where all the
others wailed and sorrowed, and he only was glad and enjoyed. And when they had reproved
him thereof, he answered: Know ye, said he, that I am joyful, for I shall be worshipped as
a saint through all the world.
On a time he went to Rome because of devotion, and he took off all his clothes and clad
him with the clothes of a beggar, and sat among the poor men tofore the church of S.
Peter, and as one of them, begged and ate eagerly with them, and much oftener would have
done, but the shame of being known of people letted him. The old enemy the devil enforced
him to let him of his holy purpose, and showed to him a woman monstrous and horribly
disfigured, crookbacked and lame, which was in that city, and he said to him if he left
not that he had enterprised, he would make him semblable and like unto her. But he was
comforted of our Lord, which heard a voice saying to him: Francis, take these bitter
things for the sweet, and despise thyself if thou desire to know me.
On a time he met a leper whom naturally men abhor, but he remembered him of the word
that was said of God, and ran to him and kissed him, and anon the lazar vanished away,
wherefore he went to the habitation of the lazars and kissed devoutly their hands, and
gave to them money, and let them have no need of such as he might do.
On a time he entered into the church of S. Damian for to make his prayers, and the
image of Jesu Christ spake unto him and said: Francis, go and repair my house which is all
destroyed as thou seest. And from that hour the soul of him liquefied, and the passion of
Jesu Christ was marvellously infixed in his heart. And then he did great pain, and was
busy in repairing the church, and sold all that he had, and gave the money thereof to a
priest, and he durst not receive it for fear of his parents and kin. Then he, casting it
away tofore the priest as dust, setting not thereby, wherefore he was taken of his father
and bound, and he restored to him his money, and resigned also his clothes, and so naked
he fled to our Lord, and clad him with hair. And then the blessed Francis went unto a
simple man, whom he took instead of his father, and prayed him that like as
his father doubled on him his curses, that in contrary he should bless him. His own
brother germane seeing him in a winter time have on him but foul and few clothes, and that
he trembled for cold and was entending to his prayers, said to his fellow: Go to Francis
and say to him that he sell to thee a pennyworth of his sweat. And when he heard it he
answered with a glad cheer: I will sell it unto my Lord God. On a day he heard in the
church that which our Lord said to his disciples when he sent them to preach, and anon he
addressed him with all his might to do and keep all those things; he did off his hosen and
shoon from his feet and clad him with a foul coat, and took a cord for his girdle. He went
on a time in a snow by a wood, and was taken by thieves, and they demanded him what he
was, and he said that he was the messenger of God, and anon they took him and cast him in
the snow, saying to him: Lie there, thou villain messenger of God. Many noble and unnoble
clerks and laymen had despised the world and begun to follow him, and the holy father
enseigned and taught them the perfection of the gospel, which was for to be in poverty,
and that they should go by the way of simpleness. He wrote then a rule, after the gospel,
to himself and his brethren, had and to be had, which Pope Innocent confirmed. And from
then forthon he began to spread more ardently the seeds of the Word of God, and went about
cities and castles by a fervent and marvellous desire. There was a friar which seemed
outward of marvellous holiness, and kept silence so straitly that he would not be shriven
by words but by signs, and every man praised him as a saint. This holy man Francis came
thither and said: Leave ye brethren to praise him, for I shall not yet praise him lest it
be by feigntise of the devil, let him be warned to be shriven twice in the week by word
and speaking, and if he do it not, this is but temptation of the devil and fraudulous
deceit. And then the friars warned him so to do, and he put his finger to his mouth, and
shook his head, and showed that in no wise he would confess him. And anon after he
returned again to worldly life as a hound to his vomit, and went out of his order, and
finished his life in sinful acts and works.
On a time S. Francis was weary of going, and rode upon an ass, and his fellow, one
Leonard of Assisi, was also weary of going, and S. Francis began to think thus and to say
in himself: His kin and my kin were not like, and incontinent he alighted down, and said
to the friar: It appertaineth not to me to ride and thee to go afoot, for thou art more
noble than I am. And the friar was abashed, and kneeled down and required pardon.
On a time, as he passed by a place, a noble lady ran so hastily against him that she
might not speak for weariness, and he asked of her what she would. And she said: Pray for
me, father, for I may not perform the purpose of health which I have begun, for my
husband, which letteth me, doth to me many adversities in the service of God. And he said
to her: Go thy way, daughter, for thou shalt have anon comfort of him, and say to thine
husband, in God's name and mine, that now is the time of health, and hereafter shall be
time of equity and right. And when she had said so to her husband, the man was suddenly
changed and avowed to God continence and chastity.
On a time a poor labourer was almost lost in a wood for thirst. and this holy saint
impetred a fountain by his prayers. He said on a time to a friar, that was familiar with
him, this secret which was showed to him by the Holy Ghost. There is a servant of God
living in the world on this day, for whose sake, as long as he shall live, our Lord shall
suffer no famine among the people. But without doubt it is said that, when he was dead all
that condition was changed to the contrary, for after his blessed death he appeared to the
same friar and said to him: Lo! now is the famine come, which as long as I lived upon
earth, our Lord would not suffer to come.
On an Easter day the friars Greek that were in desert had laid their table more
curiously than in another time, and had made ready the glasses and set them on the board.
And when S. Francis saw that he anon withdrew him, and set on his head the hat of a poor
man which was there, and bare his staff in his hand, and went out and abode at the gate.
And when the friars ate at dinner, he cried at the door that they should give for the love
of God an alms to a poor sick man. Then the poor man was called in and entered and sat
down alone upon the earth, and set his dish in the dust, which when the friars saw they
were abashed and were sore aghast. And he said to them: I see the table arrayed and
adorned, and I know well that it is not for poor men that seek their meat from door to
He loved poverty in himself and in all others, so that he always called poverty his
lady, but when he saw one more poor than himself he had thereof envy, and doubted to be
overcome of him. On a day he saw a poor woman and he showed her to his fellow and said:
The poverty of this woman doth to us shame, and reproveth strongly our poverty, for, for
my riches I have chosen my lady poverty, and she shineth more in this woman than in me.
When on a time a poor man passed tofore him, and the holy man was moved with inward
compassion, his fellow said to him: Though this man be poor, peradventure there is not a
richer of his will in all the province. Then S. Francis said to him anon: Despoil thee of
thy coat and give it to the poor man, and knowledge thyself culpable and kneel down to his
feet, to whom anon he obeyed and did so.
On a time three women like of visage and all things, and of habit, entered and met him,
and saluted in this manner: Welcome my lady poverty, and anon they vanished away and were
no more seen.
On a time as he came to the city of Arezzo, and a mortal battle was moved in the city,
this holy man saw within the burgh, on the ground, the devils making joy and were glad.
Then he called his fellow named Silvester, and said to him: Go to the gate of the city and
command to these devils in God's name, that is Almighty, that they go out of the city.
Then he went hastily and cried strongly: All ye devils depart from hence in the name of
God and by the commandment of Francis our Father. And they went away, and then the
citizens anon became to accord.
The foresaid Sylvester when he was yet a secular priest saw in his sleep a golden cross
issue out of the mouth of S. Francis, of the which the over end touched heaven and the
arms of the cross stretched forth from that one to that other part of the world. Then this
priest had compunction and left the world, and followed perfectly this holy man Francis.
And on a time as this holy man was in prayer, the devil called him thrice by his own name,
and when the holy man had answered him, he said: None in this world is so great a sinner,
but if he convert him our Lord would pardon him, but who that slayeth himself by hard
penance shall never find mercy. And anon this holy man knew by the revelation the fallacy
and deceit of the fiend, how he would have withdrawn him for to do well. And when the
devil saw that he might not prevail against him, he tempted him by grievous temptation of
the flesh, and when this holy servant of God felt that, he despoiled him of his clothes
and beat himself right hard with a hard cord, saying: Thus, brother ass, it behoveth thee
to remain and to be beaten; and when the temptation departed not, he went out and plunged
himself in the snow all naked, and made seven great balls of snow and purposed to have
taken them into his body and said: This greatest is thy wife, and of these four, two be
thy daughters, and two thy sons, and the other twain, that one thy chamberer, and that
other thy varlet or yeoman; haste thee and clothe them, for they all die for cold, and if
thy business that thou hast about them grieve thee sore, then serve our Lord perfectly.
And anon the devil departed from them all confused, and S. Francis returned again into his
cell glorifying God.
And as he dwelled on a time with Leo the cardinal of S. Cross, in a night the devils
came to him and beat him right grievously. Then he called his fellow and said to him:
These be devils, jailers of our Lord, whom he sendeth to punish the excesses, but I can
remember me of none offences that I have done, but by the mercy of God I have washed them
away by satisfaction. But peradventure he hath sent me them because he will not suffer me
to fall, because I dwell in the courts of great lords, which thing peradventure
engendereth not good suspection to my right poor brethren, which suppose I abound in
delices. And early in the morning he arose and departed thence.
On a time, as he was in his prayers, he saw upon the covering of the house assemblies
and companies of devils which ran hither and thither with great noise, and he went out,
and signed him with the sign of the cross, and said: I say to you in the name of Almighty
God that ye devils do to my body all that is suffered to you to do, and I shall suffer it
patiently. For I have no greater enemy than my body, and ye shall avenge me of mine
adversary, whiles ye take on it vengeance by my life. Then they vanished away all
There was a friar which was fellow of S. Francis was on a time ravished, and saw in
spirit the glorious place in heaven, wherein he saw, among other seats, a right noble
seat, shining of more noble glory than all the others. And as he marvelled for whom this
noble seat was kept, he heard that it was said that this seat belonged sometime to one of
the princes that fell, and is now made ready to the meek and humble Francis.
And when S. Francis issued from his prayers, that friar demanded him: Father, what
weenest thou of thyself? And he said: I ween that I am greatest of all sinners. And anon
the spirit came into the heart of the friar and said: Behold what was the vision that thou
sawest, for humility shall lift up the most meek man unto the seat lost by pride.
This holy man S. Francis saw in a vision above him, Seraphin crucified, the which
emprinted in him the signs of his crucifying, that him seemed that he was crucified, and
that in his hands, his feet, and in his side, him seemed were the sign of the wounds of
the crucifying, but he did hide these tokens as much as he might, that no man should see
them. And yet nevertheless some saw them in his life, and at his death they were seen of
many, and were showed by many miracles that those signs were true. Of which miracles twain
shall suffice for to be set here. There was a man named Rogier, and was in Apulia tofore
the image of S. Francis, and began to think and say: May this be true that this man was so
ennobled by such miracle, or was this an illusion or an invention dissimuled of his
brethren the friars? And as he thought this, he heard suddenly a sound like as a quarel
had been shot out of an arbalaste or a crossbow, and he felt him grievously hurt in his
left hand, but there appeared no hurt in his glove, and then he took off his glove, and
saw in the palm of his hand a wound as it had been of an arrow, out of which wound there
issued so great pain of ache and burning, that almost he died for sorrow and pain. And
then he repented him, and said that he believed right verily the signs and tokens of S.
Francis; and when he had prayed by two days S. Francis by his holy signs and stigmata, he
was anon delivered of his pain and made all whole.
In the realm of Castile there was a man devout to S. Francis which went on a time to
compline to the church of S. Francis. And men lay in await for to slay him, and instead of
another man he was taken by error and ignorance, and was wounded and left as half dead;
and after, the cruel murderer stuck his sword in his throat, and left it therein, and
might not draw it out, but went his way. And then men cried and ran hither and thither,
and the man was bewailed like as he had been dead. And when they rang to matins at
midnight at the church of the friars, the wife of the man began to cry: Arise up, sire,
and go to matins, for the bell calleth thee. And anon he lifted up his hand to show that
some man should take away the sword from his throat, and anon in the sight of them all the
sword sprang out afar as it had been thrown of a strong champion, and anon the man arose
perfectly whole, and said that S. Francis came to him and joined his stigmatas to my
wounds, and anointed them with the sweetness of his signs and sewed them together
marvellously by his touching. And when he would have gone, I showed him that he should
take away the sword for else I should not con speak, and anon he took it out, and threw it
away far from him, and healed me with touching my throat with his signs.
The two clerks, great luminaries of the world, that is to say S. Dominic and S.
Francis, were in the city of Rome tofore the Lord Hostience, which afterward was pope of
Rome. And this bishop said to them: Wherefore make ye not of your friars bishops and
prelates, which should prevail more by teaching and example giving? And there
was long contention between them who should first answer, and humility overcame Francis
that he would not speak tofore that other, and then S. Dominic humbly obeyed and said:
Sire, our brethren be lifted up in good degree if they know it, and I shall never suffer
to my power that ever they shall hope to have any higher dignity. After that answered S.
Francis: Sire, my brethren be called minors, because they would not be made greater. And
the blessed S. Francis full of right great simplicity admonished and warned all creatures
to love their creator. He preached to birds and was heard of them, they suffered him to
touch them, and without licence they would not return ne flee from him. And on a time when
he preached, the swallows chittered and sang, and anon by his commandment they were still.
There was also, on a time, a bird on a fig-tree beside his cell which sang oft full
sweetly. And S. Francis put forth his hand and called that bird, and anon the bird obeyed
and came upon his hand. And he said to her, Sing my sister and praise thy Lord, and then
anon she sang, and departed not till she had licence.
He spared to touch lights, lamps, and candles, because he would not defile them with
his hands. He went honourably upon the stones for the worship of him that was called
Stone. He gathered the small worms out of the way because they should not be trodden with
the feet of them that passed by. He commanded in winter to give honey unto bees, that they
should not perish for hunger. He called all beasts his brethren. He was replenished of
marvellous joy for the love of his Creator. He beheld the sun, the moon, and the stars,
and summoned them to the love of their Maker. He defended for to make him a great crown,
saying: I will that my simple brethren have part in my head.
There was a secular man which saw S. Francis, the servant of God, preaching at S.
Severin's, and saw by revelation of God, that S. Francis was stretched on a cross made of
two clear swords, of which that one came from his head to his feet, and that other
stretched from that one hand to that other, so that he never had seen such a demonstrance.
Then he was moved in his heart, and entered into the order, and finished goodly his life.
On a time, as S. Francis was sick on his eyes for continual weeping, his brethren said
to him that he should refrain him from weeping, and he answered: The visitation of the
light perdurable is not to be put away for the light that we have here with the flies. And
when his brethren constrained him to take a medicine for his eyes, and the surgeon held a
burning iron in his hand, the blessed Francis said: My brother fire, be thou to me in this
hour debonair and curable: I pray to our Lord that made thee, that thou attemper my heat.
And then he made the sign of the cross against the fire, and the fiery iron was put in his
tender flesh from his ear unto his eyelids, and he felt no pain.
He was strongly sick in the desert of S. Urban, and when he felt that nature failed in
him he asked for to drink wine, and there was none. And they brought to him water, and he
blessed it and made the sign of the cross thereon, and it was converted and turned into
right good wine. And the holy man gat of our Lord that which the poverty of the desert
might not get. And as soon as he had tasted it, he became strong and was all whole.
He had liefer hear blame of himself than praising, and for because that the people
praised in him anything of merit of holiness, he commanded to some brother to say to him
in his ear some villainy in blaming him and defouling. And when such a brother, so
constrained against his will, called him villain merchant, and unprofitable fool, then was
he glad and blessed him, and said: God bless thee, for thou sayest right very true words,
and this thing appertaineth to me for to hear.
And this holy S. Francis would never be more master ne governor, but he would be more
subject, ne so willingly command as obey. And therefore he left for to be general, and
demanded to be under the warden, to whose will he always submitted himself in all things.
He promised always obedience to the friar with whom he went, and kept it.
When a friar had done something against the rule of obedience, and had sign of penance,
yet this holy S. Francis, for to fear others, commanded to cast the hood of him into the
fire, and when it had been a while in the fire, he commanded to take it out and give it
again to the friar, and the hood , was taken out of the fire without hurt.
He went on a time by the morass of Venice and found there a great multitude of birds
singing and he said to his fellows: Our sisters, these birds, give laud to their Maker,
let us go in the middle of them, and sing we our hours canonical to our Lord. And they
entered in among them and they moved not, but because they might not hear each other for
the chittering and noise of birds he said: My sister birds, cease your songs till we have
yielded unto our Lord due praisings. And then they held them still, and when they had
finished their lauds, he gave to them licence to sing again, and anon they reprised their
song after their custom.
He was on a time harboured with a knight, and S. Francis said to him: Brother, fair
host, agree to that I shall say to thee, confess thy sins, for thou shalt soon eat in
another place. And anon he granted that to him, and ordained for his meiny, and took
penance of health. And also soon as they went to the table the host died suddenly.
On a time he found a great multitude of birds, and then he said to them: My brethren,
ye ought strongly to praise and give laud to your Maker which hath clad you with feathers
and hath given to you pens for to fly and hath granted you the purity of the air and
governed you without charge or business. And the birds turned their beaks or bills to him
and spread their wings, and stretched their necks and addressed their heads and beheld him
intently. And he passed forth by the middle of them so nigh that he touched them with his
coat, and none of them arose out from his place till he gave to them leave that they flew
On a time when he preached at the castle Almarye, and he might not be heard for the
swallows which made their nests, to whom he said: My sister swallows, it is time that I
speak, for ye have said enough, be ye now still till the word of God be accomplished. And
they obeyed and were still anon.
And as this holy man S. Francis passed through Apulia, he found in his way a purse full
of money, and when his fellow saw it, they would have taken it for to have given it to the
poor people, but he would not suffer him in no manner, and said to him: Son, it
appertaineth not to thee to take the goods of others. And when his fellow hasted to take
it S. Francis prayed a little, and after, commanded him to take the purse, which then
found therein a great adder, instead of money. And when the friar saw that he began to
doubt, but he would obey and took the purse in his hands, and there sprang out anon a
serpent venomous. And then S. Francis said to him: Money is none other thing to the
servant of God but the devil, which is a serpent venomous.
There was a friar grievously tempted, and he began to think that if he had anything
written with the hand of their father S. Francis, that that temptation should be chased
away anon, but he durst in no wise discover this thing. On a time S. Francis called him
and said: Son, bring to me parchment and ink, for I will write something praising to God.
And when he had written he said: Take this charter and keep it unto the day of thy death
diligently, and anon all his temptation went away. And the same friar, when S. Francis lay
sick, began to think: Our Father approacheth the death, and if I might have, after his
death, his coat I should be greatly comforted. And after this the saint called him and
said: I give to thee this my coat; if thou have thereto, after my death, plain right. He
was lodged on a time in Alexandria, in Lombardy, with an honest man, which demanded him,
if for the observance of the gospel he should eat of all that which was set tofore him,
and he consented to the devotion of the host; and then the host did do make ready a capon
of seven years old, and as they ate there came an untrue man which demanded alms for the
love of God, and anon when this blessed man heard that blessed name, he sent to him a
member of the capon, and the cursed man kept it. And on the morn when the holy man
preached, he showed that piece of the capon, and said, Lo! see here what flesh this friar
eateth whom ye honour as a saint, for he gave it to me yester even, but this piece of the
capon was seen of all the people as it were fish, and that man was blamed of all the
people, and said that he was mad, and when he understood it, he was ashamed and demanded
pardon; and when this man came again to his good thought, the flesh returned again to his
own kind and form.
On a time as he sat at the table, and collation was made of the poverty of the Blessed
Virgin our Lady, anon S. Francis arose and began to weep and sob sorrowfully, so that his
visage was all wet of tears, and began to eat the remnant of his bread upon the ground. He
would also that right great reverence should be done to the hands of priests, to whom was
given power to sacre the blessed sacrament of our Lord. And then he said oft: If it happed
me to meet any saint coming from heaven, and also a poor priest, I would first go kiss the
priest's hands, and would say to the saint: Holy saint, abide a while, for the hands of
this priest have handled the son of life, and hath performed a thing above humanity. He
was ennobled in his life by many miracles, for the bread that was brought to him to bless
gave health to many sick men. He converted the water into wine, of which a sick man anon
tasted and received anon health, and also did many other miracles. And when his last days
approached, and he was grieved by long infirmity; then he made himself to be laid upon the
bare ground, and did do call all the friars that were there, and when they were all
present he blessed them. And like as our Lord fed his disciples at supper on
Shere-thursday, he gave to each of them a morsel of bread, and warned them, as he was wont
to do, to give laud to their Maker. And the very death which is to all men horrible and
hateful, he admonished them to praise it, and also he warned and admonished death to come
to him, and said: Death, my sister, welcome be thou; and when he came at the last hour, he
slept in our Lord. Of whom a friar saw the soul in the manner of a star, like to the moon
in quantity, and to the sun in clearness.
There was a friar named Augustin, which was minister and servant in the labour of the
earth, and as he was in his last end, and had lost his speech, he escried suddenly and
said: Abide me, father, abide, I shall go with thee. Then the friars demanded him what he
said, and he said: See ye not our father Francis that goeth unto heaven, and anon he slept
in peace, and followed his holy father. A lady which had been devout to the blessed
Francis died, and the clerks and priests were at the bier for to sing the exequies of her.
She arose up suddenly off the bier, and called one of the priests that were there and
said: Father, I would confess me; I was dead, and should have been put in a cruel prison,
because I had not shriven me of a sin that I shall say, but S. Francis prayed for me, that
this confessed and showed I shall have forgiveness, and anon as I shall have said and
confessed it to thee I shall rest in peace tofore you all. And then she was confessed and
assoiled, and rested anon in our Lord.
The friars of Viterbo would have borrowed a cart of a man, and he answered in despite:
I had liefer see two of you flayed with S. Francis than I should lend you my cart, but he
came again to himself and reproved himself, and repented him of the blame that he had
said, and doubted the ire of God. And anon his son was sick and died, and when he saw his
son dead he slept on the earth weeping, and called S. Francis and said: I am he that
sinned, thou shouldest have beaten me, give again to me, holy saint, praying devoutly to
thee, whom thou hast taken away from me, blaming thee and blaspheming wickedly. And anon
his son revived and said: When I was dead S. Francis led me by a long way and dark, and at
the last he brought me unto a right fair green, and after said to me: Return to thy
father, I will no longer hold thee. There was a poor man which owed unto a certain rich
man a quantity of money, and prayed him, for the love of S. Francis, he would prolong the
term of payment. To whom he answered proudly: I shall set thee in such a place that
neither Francis ne none other shall help thee. And anon he took and bound him, and set him
in a dark prison, and anon after, S. Francis came thither and brake up the prison, and
loosed his bonds and brought the man all safely to his own house. There was a knight which
detracted the works and miracles of S. Francis, and on a time as he played at the dice, he
being all enraged, and full of woodness and cruelness, said to them that stood by him: lf
S. Francis be a saint, let come eighteen on the dice, and anon came in three dice in each
of them six, and so it appeared nine times, at every time three sixes at each cast, and
then he adjousting woodness to woodness, he said: If it be true that Francis be a saint,
let a sword rive me through my body this day, and if he be no saint, that it escape
safely. And when the playing at dice was ended, because he had made that prayer in sin, he
said injury to his nephew, and he took his sword and stack it through his belly and slew
There was a man that had lost his thigh that he could not move it, and cried to S.
Francis thus, saying: Help me, S. Francis, remember thee of the devotion and of the
service that I have done to thee, for I carried thee upon mine ass, and kissed thy feet,
and thy hands, and now I die for pain of this right hard torment. Then the holy man
appeared to him with a little staff that he held, which had the sign of Thau, and touched
therewith the place of his pain, and the postume brake, and he received anon full health,
but the sign of Thau abode alway in the same place. With that sign S. Francis was wont
always to sign his letters.
There was a maid which dwelled in the mountains of Apulia in a castle, and her father
and mother ne had but only this daughter, and she died, and her mother was much devout
toward S. Francis, but then she was full of heaviness, and S. Francis appeared to her and
said: Weep no more, for the light of thy lantern is quenched, and it appertaineth not that
I yield her again to thee by thy prayer. But yet the mother had affiance and trust in the
saint, and would not suffer to bear away the body, but in calling S. Francis, she took her
daughter that was dead and raised her up alive and whole. There was a little child in Rome
fallen out of a window to the ground and died forthwith, and they called to S. Francis for
help, and he was anon restored to life. In the city of Suessa, it happed that a house fell
and slew a child, and when they had put the corpse in a chest for to bury, the mother
called on S. Francis with all her devotion, and about midnight the child coughed and arose
all whole, and began to praise God.
Friar James of Reaten had passed a flood in a vessel with other friars which were set
aland, and he hasted so sore after to go out because he was last, and the ship recoiled
backward into the water, so that he fell down into the deepest of the flood, and then all
the friars prayed S. Francis for him, and he himself, as he might, with like devotion,
called the holy saint unto his aid and help, in his heart, and that same friar began to go
in the bottom of the water, as dry as he had gone on the earth, and caught the boat, which
was drowned, and brought it to the bank, and came up without wetting of his clothes that
he ware, ne never drop of water touched his coat ne wet nothing on him. Then let us
devoutly pray this holy father, S. Francis, to be our succour and aid in our adversities
and perils, and help, that by his merits we may after this short life come into
everlasting life in heaven. Amen.
The Golden Legend or Lives of the Saints. Compiled by Jacobus de Voragine,
Archbishop of Genoa, 1275. First Edition Published 1470. Englished by William
Caxton, First Edition 1483, Edited by F.S. Ellis, Temple Classics, 1900 (Reprinted 1922,
This chapter is from: Volume 5:
Scanned by Robert Blackmon. email@example.com.
This text is part of the Internet
Medieval Source Book. The Sourcebook is a collection of public domain and
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© Paul Halsall, September 2000