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


How the Mother of Christ and St. John the Evangelist appeared to Friar Conrad, and told him which of them suffered the greater grief for the Passion of Christ

AT the time when there dwelt together, in the territory of Ancona in the Place of Forano, Friar Conrad and Friar Peter aforesaid, the which were two brilliant stars in the Province of the March, and two heavenly men; forasmuch as there was between them such love and charity that they seemed to be of one selfsame heart and of one soul, they bound themselves together by this compact: that every consolation, which the mercy of God should grant them, they would reveal each to the other in love. Now, after they had made this compact together, it befel that, one day, while Friar Peter was praying and meditating most devoutly of the Passion of Christ, and how the most blessed Mother of Christ and St. John the Evangelist, the well-beloved disciple, and St. Francis were depicted at the foot of the Cross, as being, by grief of mind, crucified with Christ; there came upon him a desire to know which of those three had had greater grief for the Passion of Christ; whether the Mother which had borne Him, or the disciple which had slept upon His bosom, or St. Francis who was crucified with Christ. And as he thus devoutly meditated, the Virgin Mary appeared to him with St. John, the Evangelist, and with St. Francis, clad in most noble garments of

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beatific glory; but St. Francis appeared clad in more beautiful vesture than St. John. And at this vision Peter was sore afraid; but St. John comforted him and said: "Fear not, most dear friar, seeing that we are come to console thee touching thy doubt. Know, then, that the Mother of Christ and I, above all other creatures, were grieved at the Passion of Christ; but after us St. Francis had greater grief than any other; and therefore dost thou behold him in so great glory." And Friar Peter asked him: "Most holy Apostle of Christ, wherefore doth the vesture of St. Francis show more beautiful than thine?" St. John made answer: "The reason is this: because, when he was in this world, he wore viler garments than I". And, when he had thus spoken, St. John gave Friar Peter a glorious garment, which he carried in his hand, and said unto him: "Take this garment which I have brought for thee"; and, when St. John would have clad him therewith, Friar Peter fell to the ground in terror and amaze, and began to cry: "Friar Conrad, dearest Friar Conrad, aid me quickly; come hither and behold marvellous things". And, as he spake these words, that holy vision vanished away. Thereafter, when Friar Conrad came he told him everything in order; and they gave thanks to God.

Next: Chapter XLV. Of the holy Friar John of Penna