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


How Friar Juniper once went to Assisi for his confusion

ONCE, while Friar Juniper was sojourning in the Val di Spoleto, he heard that there was a great festival at Assisi, and that many folk were going thither with great devotion; and there came to him a desire to go to this festival; and hearken how he did it. Friar Juniper stripped himself all naked save only for his breeches, and so set out, passing through Spoleto through the midst of the city; and thus naked he came to the convent. The friars were much disquieted and

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scandalised and rebuked him very harshly, calling him madman and fool and troubler of the Order of St. Francis, and saying that he should be chained up, as a madman. And the General, who was then in the Place, caused all the friars to be called and Friar Juniper with them; and, in the presence of all the convent, he gave him a severe and stern reproof. And, after many words, speaking as one with authority to punish, he said to Friar Juniper: "Thy fault is such and so great that I know not what fitting penance to give thee". Whereupon Friar Juniper, even as one who delighteth in his own confusion, made answer: "Father, I will tell thee: as I have come hither naked, so for penance let me return again, in the same guise, to the place wherefrom I set out to come to this festival".

Next: Chapter XII. How Friar Juniper was rapt in ecstasy during the celebration of the Mass