The Little Flowers of St. Francis, tr. by W. Heywood, , at sacred-texts.com
How Friar Conrad of Offida converted a young friar, who annoyed the other friars. And how the said young friar, after his death, appeared to the said Friar Conrad, beseeching him to pray for him; and how by his prayer he delivered him from the very grievous pains of purgatory
THE said Friar Conrad of Offida, wonderful zealot of evangelical poverty and of the rule of St. Francis, was of so religious a life and of so great merit before God, that Christ the blessed honoured him, both in life and in death, with many miracles; among the which was this: he having come, upon a time, as a guest to the Place of Offida, the friars besought him, for the love of God and of charity, that he would admonish a young friar who was in that Place, and who behaved himself so childishly and disordinately and dissolutely that he interrupted both the old and young of that community in the Divine office, and little or nothing did he care for the other observances of the Rule. Wherefore, Friar Conrad, for compassion of that young man and at the prayers of the friars, one day called the said young man aside, and, in fervour of charity, spake unto him such efficacious and devout words of admonishment that, by operation of Divine grace, he forthwith became an aged man in his behaviour, instead of a child, and so obedient and obliging and diligent and devout, and therewithal so gentle and serviceable and so studious of every virtuous thing, that, as formerly all the community had been disturbed by him, so now by him were they all contented and consoled; and they loved him much. Now it came to pass, as God willed it, that, a little
while after this his conversion, the said young man died; and the friars went mourning for him. And, a few days after his death, his soul appeared to Friar Conrad, while he was devoutly praying before the altar of the said convent, and saluted him devoutly, as a father. And Friar Conrad asked him: "Who art thou?" He made answer and said: "I am the soul of that young friar that died in these days". And Friar Conrad said: "O my dearest son, how is it with thee?" And he answered: "Through God's grace and through your teaching it is well with me, seeing that I am not damned; but for certain sins of mine, whereof I had not time to purge me sufficiently, I endure very great torments in purgatory: but I pray thee, father, that, as through thy pity thou didst?' succour me when I was alive, so now thou wilt vouchsafe to succour me in my torments, saying some Paternoster for me; for thy prayer is very acceptable in the sight of God". Then Friar Conrad, courteously consenting unto his request, said the Paternoster once for him, together with the Requiem æternam; whereupon that soul said: "O dearest father, what benefit and what relief I feel! Now I beseech thee that thou say it a second time." And Friar Conrad said it; and, when he had said it, the soul said: "Holy father, when thou prayest for me I feel myself greatly eased; wherefore I beseech thee that thou cease not to pray for me". Then Friar Conrad, perceiving that that soul was much aided by his prayers, said a hundred Paternosters for him; and, when he had said them, that soul said: "I thank thee, most dear father, in the name of God and of the charity which thou hast shown toward me; because by thy prayers I am delivered from all my torments, and now am I going to the heavenly kingdom". And, when
he had thus spoken, that soul departed. Then Friar Conrad, to give joy and comfort to the friars, related to them in order all his vision. And on this wise the soul of that youth went to paradise, through the merits of Friar Conrad.