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

p. 119


How Friar Pacificus, while he was praying, beheld the soul of Friar Humilis, his brother, going up to heaven

IN the said Province of the March, after the death of St. Francis, there were two brothers in the Order; the name of the one was Friar Humilis, and the name of the other was Friar Pacificus, the which were men of exceeding great sanctity and perfection. Now one of them, to wit Friar Humilis, abode in the Place of Soffiano, and there he died; and the other dwelt in a community in another place at a great distance from him. As God willed it, Friar Pacificus, while praying one day in a solitary place, was rapt in ecstasy and beheld the soul of his brother Friar Humilis depart out of his body and go straight to heaven without any let or impediment whatsoever. Thereafter, it came to pass that, many years later, Friar Pacificus, being still alive, dwelt with the other friars in the said Place of Soffiano, where his brother had died. At this time the friars, at the request of the Lords of Bruforte, exchanged the said Place for another; wherefore, among other things, they carried away with them the relics of the holy friars who had died in that Place; and, coming to the tomb of Friar Humilis, Friar Pacificus, his brother, took his bones and washed them with good wine and, thereafter, wrapped them in a white cloth, and with great reverence and devotion kissed them and wept over them; whereupon the other friars marvelled and deemed that his example was not good; in that it seemed that he, albeit a man of great sanctity, bewailed his brother with a carnal and worldly love, and

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showed more devotion to his relics than to those of the other friars whose sanctity had not been less than that of Friar Humilis, and whose relics were as worthy of reverence as his. And Friar Pacificus, knowing the perverse imaginings of the friars, and being willing to give them satisfaction, humbly spake unto them and said: "Well-beloved friars, marvel ye not that I have done to the bones of my brother that which I have not done to the other bones; for, blessed be God, carnal love hath not moved me as ye believe; but thus have I done because, when my brother departed from this life, as I was praying in a desolate place and far from him, I beheld his soul ascend up into heaven by a straight path; and, therefore, am I certain that his bones are holy, and that they ought to be in Paradise. And, if God had granted me the same certainty touching the other friars, I would have shown the same reverence to their bones." For the which cause, the friars, seeing his holy and devout intent, were greatly edified by him, and gave praise to God, who Both such marvellous things unto the saints, His friars.

Next: Chapter XLVII. Of that holy friar to whom the Mother of Christ appeared . . .