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The Little Flowers of St. Francis, tr. by W. Heywood, [1906], at


How St. Francis set free the friar who was in sin with the demon

ONCE when St. Francis was praying in the Place of Porziuncula, he saw by Divine revelation, the whole Place encompassed about and besieged by the demons after the fashion of a great army; but none of them could enter into the Place, inasmuch as these friars were of so great sanctity that the demons found none into whom they might enter. But while they thus persisted, it fell upon a day that one of those friars

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was offended with another, and thought within his heart how he could accuse him and avenge himself on him; for the which cause, while yet he cherished this evil thought, the devil, the door being opened, entered into the Place and set himself upon the neck of that friar. Thereupon the compassionate and careful shepherd, who ever watched over his flock seeing that the wolf had entered in to devour his little sheep, immediately caused that friar to be called to him, and bade him forthwith reveal the poison of hatred conceived against his neighbour, through the which he had come into the hands of the enemy. Wherefore, he, full of fear at seeing himself thus discovered by the holy father, disclosed all the venom and rancour of his heart, and confessed his fault and humbly besought penance and mercy; and when he had so done, and was absolved of his sin, and had received penance, anon, in the presence of St. Francis, the demon departed; and the friar, thus delivered from the hands of the cruel beast, through the loving-kindness of the good shepherd, gave thanks to God, and returning, corrected and admonished, to the flock of the holy shepherd, lived afterward in great sanctity.

Next: Chapter XXIV. How St. Francis converted the Soldan of Babylon to the faith