The Little Flowers of St. Francis, tr. by W. Heywood, , at sacred-texts.com
Of the holy Friar James of Fallerone; and how after his death he appeared to Friar John of Alvernia
WHAT time Friar James of Fallerone, a man of great sanctity, lay grievously sick in the Place of Moliano in the district of Fermo, Friar John of Alvernia, who was then sojourning at the Place of Massa, heard of his sickness, and, in that he loved him as his dear father, he betook himself to prayer for him, beseeching God devoutly with heartfelt prayers that He would give Friar James health of body if it were good for his soul; and, as he prayed thus devoutly, he was rapt in ecstasy and beheld, in the air, a great army of saints and angels, above his cell which was in the wood; and so great was the brightness of them that all the district round about was illuminated thereby; and among those angels he saw that sick Friar James, for whom he was praying,
clad in white and shining raiment. Also he saw among them the blessed father St. Francis, adorned with the holy stigmata of Christ and with great glory. Also he saw there and recognised the holy Friar Lucidus, and ancient Friar Matthew of Monte Rubbiano and many other friars, whom he had never seen or known in this life. And while Friar John thus gazed with great delight upon that blessed company of saints, the salvation of the soul of the said sick friar was certainly revealed to him; and that he must die of that sickness, but that he might not go to paradise immediately after his death, since it was first necessary that he should cleanse himself a little while in purgatory. At which revelation Friar John had such great joy, by reason of the salvation of his soul, that he recked nothing at all of the death of his body; but, with great sweetness of spirit, called unto him within himself, saying: "Friar James, sweet father mine; Friar James, sweet brother; Friar James, most faithful servant and friend of God; Friar James, companion of angels and associate of the blessed". And so, in this certainty and joy he returned to himself, and went to visit the said Friar James at Moliano; and finding him so weighed down with sickness, that scarcely was he able to speak, he announced to him the death of his body and the salvation and glory of his soul, according to the certainty which he had thereof, through the Divine revelation; whereat Friar James, all joyful in heart and face, received him with great gladness and with jocund laughter, thanking him for the good news which he had brought him, and devoutly commending himself to him. Then Friar John besought him tenderly that, after his death he would return to him and tell him of his state; and Friar James promised him so to do, if it should be God's will. And, when he had thus spoken, the
hour of his passing drew nigh; and Friar James began to recite devoutly the verse of the Psalm: In pace in idipsum dormiam et resquiescam; which is to say: "In peace shall I sleep and take my rest in the life eternal"; and when he had recited this verse, with glad and happy face he passed from this life. And, after he was buried, Friar John returned to the Place of Massa, and awaited the fulfilment of the promise of Friar James that he would return to him on the day that he had said. But, on the said day, as he was praying, Christ appeared to him with a great company of angels and saints; and Friar James was not among them: wherefore Friar John marvelled greatly and commended him devoutly to Christ. Thereafter, on the following day, while Friar John was praying in the wood, Friar James appeared to him, accompanied by angels, all glorious and all glad; and Friar John said unto him: "O dearest father, why didst thou not return to me on the day that thou didst promise me?" Friar James made answer: "Because I had need of some purgation; but in that same hour wherein Christ appeared to thee, and thou didst commend me to Him, Christ gave ear unto thy prayer and delivered me from all pain, and at that time I appeared to Friar James of Massa, that holy lay-brother, who was serving the Mass and saw the consecrated Host, when the priest elevated it, transmuted and changed into the likeness of a very beautiful living Child: and to him I said: 'To-day I go with this Child to the kingdom of life eternal, whereunto none may go without him'". And, when he had said these words Friar James vanished away, and departed into heaven with all that blessed company of angels; and Friar John remained much consoled. The said Friar James of Fallerone died on the Vigil of St. James the Apostle, in the month of July, in the aforesaid
[paragraph continues] Place of Moliano; wherein, after his death, the Divine Goodness wrought many miracles, through his merits.