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The little Flowers of St. Francis of Assisi

Written by: Unknown    Posted on: 03/31/2003

Category: Classic Christian Library

Source: CCN

The Little Flowers of St. Francis of Assisi

  * CONTENTS         o INTRODUCTION             + I             + II.         o PART ONE             + CHAPTER I             + CHAPTER II             + CHAPTER III             + CHAPTER IV             + CHAPTER V             + CHAPTER VI             + CHAPTER VII             + CHAPTER VIII             + CHAPTER IX             + CHAPTER X             + CHAPTER XI             + CHAPTER XII             + CHAPTER XIII             + CHAPTER XIV             + CHAPTER XV             + CHAPTER XVI             + CHAPTER XVII             + CHAPTER XVIII             + CHAPTER XIX             + CHAPTER XX             + CHAPTER XXI             + CHAPTER XXII             + CHAPTER XXIII             + CHAPTER XXIV             + CHAPTER XXV             + CHAPTER XXVI             + CHAPTER XXVII             + CHAPTER XXVIII             + CHAPTER XXIX             + CHAPTER XXX             + CHAPTER XXXI             + CHAPTER XXXII             + CHAPTER XXXIII             + CHAPTER XXXIV             + CHAPTER XXXV             + CHAPTER XXXVI             + CHAPTER XXXVII             + CHAPTER XXXVIII             + CHAPTER XXXIX             + CHAPTER XL             + CHAPTER XLI             + CHAPTER XLII             + CHAPTER XLIII             + CHAPTER XLIV             + CHAPTER XLV             + CHAPTER XLVI             + CHAPTER XLVII             + CHAPTER XLVIII             + CHAPTER XLIX             + CHAPTER L.             + CHAPTER LI             + CHAPTER LII             + CHAPTER LIII             + OF THE SACRED AND HOLY STIGMATA OF ST FRANCIS AND CERTAIN               CONSIDERATIONS THEREON                   + OF THE FIRST CONSIDERATION OF THE SACRED, HOLY STIGMATA                   + OF THE SECOND CONSIDERATION OF THE SACRED, HOLY STIGMATA                   + OF THE THIRD CONSIDERATION OF THE SACRED HOLY STIGMATA                   + OF THE FOURTH CONSIDERATION OF THE SACRED, HOLY STIGMATA                   + HOW JEROME, WHO AT FIRST BELIEVED NOT, SAW AND TOUCHED                     THE SACRED, HOLY STIGMATA OF ST FRANCIS                   + OF THE DAY AND YEAR OF THE DEATH OF ST FRANCIS                   + OF THE CANONIZATION OF ST FRANCIS                   + OF THE FIFTH AND LAST CONSIDERATION OF THE SACRED, HOLY                     STIGMATA             + CHAPTER LIV             + CHAPTER LV             + CHAPTER LVI             + CHAPTER LVII             + CHAPTER LVIII         o HERE BEGINNETH THE LIFE OF BROTHER JUNIPER             + CHAPTER I             + CHAPTER II             + CHAPTER III             + CHAPTER IV             + CHAPTER V             + CHAPTER VI             + CHAPTER VII             + CHAPTER VIII             + CHAPTER IX             + CHAPTER X             + CHAPTER XI             + CHAPTER XII             + CHAPTER XIII             + CHAPTER XIV             + CHAPTER XV         o PART THREE             + CHAPTER I             + CHAPTER II             + CHAPTER III             + CHAPTER IV             + CHAPTER V             + CHAPTER VI             + CHAPTER VII             + CHAPTER VIII             + CHAPTER IX             + CHAPTER X         o PART FOUR             + CHAPTER I             + CHAPTER II             + CHAPTER III             + CHAPTER IV             + CHAPTER V             + CHAPTER VI             + CHAPTER VII             + CHAPTER VIII             + CHAPTER IX             + CHAPTER X             + CHAPTER XI             + CHAPTER XII             + CHAPTER XIII             + CHAPTER XIV             + CHAPTER XV             + CHAPTER XVI             + CHAPTER XVII             + CHAPTER XVIII

---------------------------------------------------------------------------- Typed by: Kathy Sewell, ksewell@gate.net, April 14, 1997 This book is in the public domain.

                          -----------------------

                                    THE

                              LITTLE FLOWERS

                              OF SAINT FRANCIS

                                  OF ASSISI

                      IN THE FIRST ENGLISH TRANSLATION

                        REVISED AND EMENDED BY DOM

                            ROGER HUDLESTON WITH

                            AN INTRODUCTION BY

                              ARTHUR LIVINGSTON

                            THE HERITAGE PRESS

                                  NEW YORK

                                  CONTENTS

    INTRODUCTION

    BIBLIOGRAPHICAL NOTE

    PART I

          I. In the name of Jesus Christ our crucified Saviour, and Mary his           Virgin Mother. In this book are contained certain Little Flowers -           to wit, miracles and pious examples of the glorious servant of           Christ St Francis, and of some of his holy companions; to the           glory and praise of Jesus Christ. Amen.

          II. Of Brother Bernard of Quintavalle, the first companion of St           Francis

          III. How St Francis, having allowed an evil thought to arise in           his mind against Brother Bernard, ordered him to place his foot           three times upon his neck and his mouth.

          IV. How the angel of God put a question to Brother Elias, guardian           of Val di Spoleto, and how, when Brother Elias answered proudly,           the angel departed from him, and took the road to San Giacomo,           where he met Brother Bernard and told him what follows

          V. How the holy Brother Bernard of Assisi was sent by St Francis           to Bologna, and how he founded a convent there

          VI. How St Francis, when about to die, blessed the holy Brother           Bernard, naming him Vicar of the Order

          VII. How St Francis passed the time of Lent in an island, on the           lake of Perugia, where he fasted forty days and forty nights,           eating no more than half of one loaf

          VIII. How St Francis, walking one day with Brother Leo, explained           to him what things are perfect joy

          IX. How St Francis would teach Brother Leo what to answer, and how           the latter could never say aught but the contrary to what St           Francis wished.

          X. How Brother Masseo told St Francis, as in jest, that the world           was gone after him; and how St Francis answered that it was indeed           so, to the confusion of the world and through the grace of God.

          XI. How St Francis made Brother Masseo turn round and round like a           child, and then to go to Siena.

          XII. How St Francis gave to Brother Masseo the office of porter,           of almoner and of cook; and how, at the request of the other           brethren, he afterwards took these duties from him.

          XIII. How St Francis and Brother Masseo placed the bread they had           begged upon a stone near a fountain; and how St Francis praised           the virtue of holy poverty, praying St Peter and St Paul to make           him love holy poverty greatly. And how St Peter and St Paul           appeared to him

          XIV. How the Lord appeared to St Francis and to his brethren as he           was speaking with them

          XV. How St. Clare ate with St Francis and his companions at St           Mary of the Angels

          XVI. How St Francis, having been told by St Clare and the holy           Brother Silvester that he should preach and convert many to the           faith, founded the Third Order, preached to the birds, and reduced           to silence the swallows

          XVII. How a little child who had entered the Order saw St Francis           in prayer one night, and saw also the Saviour, the Virgin Mary,           and many other saints talk with him

          XVIII.Of the wonderful chapter held by St Francis at St Mary of           the Angels, at which more than five thousand friars were present

          XIX. How the vine of the priest of Rieti, whose house St Francis           entered to pray, was trampled under foot by the great numbers who           came to see him, and how it yet produced a greater quantity of           wine than usual, as St Francis had promised; and how the Lord           revealed to the saints that heaven would be his portion when he           left this world

          XX. Of a beautiful vision which appeared to a young man who hated           the habits of St Francis so greatly, that he was on the point of           leaving the Order

          XXI. Of the most holy miracle of St Francis in taming the fierce           wolf of Gubbio

          XXII. How St Francis tamed the wild doves

          XXIII.How St Francis delivered the brother who, being in sin, had           fallen into the power of the devil

          XXIV. How St Francis converted to the faith the Sultan of Babylon

          XXV. How St Francis healed miraculously a leper both in his body           and in his soul, and what the soul said to him on going up to           heaven

          XXVI. How St Francis converted certain robbers and assassins, who           became friars; and of a wonderful vision which appeared to one of           them who was a most holy brother

          XXVII. How at Bologna St Francis converted two scholars who became           friars, and how he delivered one of them from a great temptation

          XXVIII. Of an ecstasy which came to Brother Bernard, and how he           remained from Matins until Noon in a state of rapture

          XXIX. How the devil often appeared to Brother Ruffino in the form           of a crucifix, telling him that all the good he did was of no           avail, seeing he was not of the number of the elect of God; which           being revealed to St Francis, he made known to Brother Ruffino the           error into which he had fallen

          XXX. Of the beautiful sermon which St Francis and Brother Ruffino           preached at Assisi

          XXXI. How St Francis was acquainted with the secrets of the           consciences of all his brethren

          XXXII. How Brother Masseo obtained from Christ the virtue of           humility

          XXXIII. How St Clare, by order of the Pope, blessed the bread           which was on the table, and how on each loaf appeared the sign of           the holy cross

          XXXIV. How St Louis, King of France, went in person in a pilgrim's           garb to visit the holy Brother Giles

          XXXV. How St Clare, being ill, was miraculously carried, on           Christmas night, to the church of St Francis, where she assisted           at the Office

          XXXVI. How St Francis explained to Brother Leo a beautiful vision           that he had seen.

          XXXVII. How Jesus Christ, the blessed one, at the prayer of St           Francis, converted a rich nobleman who had made great offers to St           Francis, and inspired him with a wish to become a religious

          XXXVIII.How it was revealed to St Francis that Brother Elias was           damned, and was to die out of the Order; and how at the desire of           the said brother he prayed to Christ for him, and how his prayer           was granted.

          XXXIX. Of the wonderful discourse which St Anthony of Padua, a           Friar Minor, made in the Consistory

          XL. Of the miracle which God performed when St Anthony, being at           Rimini, preached to the fishes of the sea

          XLI. How the venerable Brother Simon delivered a brother from a           great temptation, on account of which he was on the point of           leaving the Order

          XLII. Of several wonderful miracles which the Lord performed           through the means of Brother Peter of Monticello, and Brother           Conrad of Offida. How Brother Bentivoglio carried a leper fifteen           miles in a very short time; how St Michael spoke to another           brother, and how the Virgin Mary appeared to Brother Conrad and           placed her divine Son in his arms

          XLIII. How Brother Conrad of Offida converted a young brother, who           was a stumbling-block to the other brothers; and how after death           his soul appeared to Brother Conrad, begging him to pray for him;           and how through his prayers he was delivered from the great pains           of Purgatory

          XLIV. How the Mother of Christ and St John the Evangelist appeared           to Brother Conrad, and told him who had suffered the greatest           sorrow at the Passion of Christ

          XLV. Of the conversion, life, miracles, and death of the holy           Brother John Della Penna

          XLVI. How Brother Pacifico, being in prayer, saw the soul of           Brother Umile, his brother in the flesh, go up to heaven

          XLVII.Of a holy brother to whom the Mother of Christ appeared when           he was ill, and brought him three vases of healing ointments

          XLVIII. How Brother James Della Massa saw in a vision all the           Friars Minor in the world in the form of a tree; and how the           virtues, the merits and the vices of all were made known to him

          XLIX. How Christ appeared to Brother John of Alvernia

          L. How Brother John of Alvernia, when saying Mass on the day of           All Souls, saw many souls liberated from Purgatory

          LI. Of the holy Brother James of Fallerone, and how, after his           death, he appeared to Brother John of Alvernia

          LII. Of the vision of Brother John of Alvernia, by which he became           acquainted with all the order of the Holy Trinity

          LIII. How, while he was saying Mass, Brother John of Alvernia fell           down, as if he had been dead

          LIV. How a holy friar, having read in the legend of St Francis of           the secret words spoken to him by the seraph, prayed so earnestly           to God that St Francis revealed them to him

          LV. How St Francis appear, after his death, to Brother John of           Alvernia, while he was in prayer

          LVI. Of a holy friar who saw a wonderful vision of a companion who           was dead

          LVII. How a noble knight who was devout to St Francis was assured           of his death and of the sacred stigmata

          LVIII. How Pope Gregory IX, who had doubted of the stigmata of St           Francis, was assured of their truth

    PART II: THE LIFE OF BROTHER JUNIPER

          I. How Brother Juniper cut off the foot of a pig to give it to a           sick brother

          II. An instance of Brother Juniper's great power against the devil

          III. How, by the contrivance of the devil, Brother Juniper was           condemned to the gallows

          IV. How Brother Juniper gave all that he had to the poor for the           love of God

          V. How Brother Juniper took certain little bells from the alter,           and gave them away for the love of God

          VI. How Brother Juniper kept silence for six months

          VII. His remedy for temptations of the flesh

          VIII. How Brother Juniper made himself contemptible for the love           of God

          IX. How Brother Juniper, in order to be despised, played at           see-saw

          X. How Brother Juniper once cooked for the brethren enough to last           for a fortnight

          XI. How Brother Juniper went one day to Assisi for his own           confusion

          XII. How Brother Juniper fell into an ecstasy during the           celebration of Mass

          XIV. Of the hand which Brother Juniper saw in the air

          XV. How St Francis commanded Brother Leo to wash the stone

    PART III: THE LIFE OF THE BLESSED BROTHER GILES, COMPANION OF ST     FRANCIS

          I. How Brother Giles, with three companions, was received into the           Order of Friars Minor

          II. How Brother Giles went to St James the Great

          III. Of Brother Giles's manner of life when he went to the Holy           Sepulchre

          IV. How Brother Giles praised obedience more than prayer

          V. How Brother Giles lived by the labour of his hands

          VI. How Brother Giles was miraculously assisted in a great           necessity when, by reason of a heavy fall of snow, he was hindered           from going out to quest

          VII. Of the day of the holy Brother Giles's death

          VIII. How a holy man, being in prayer, saw the soul of Brother           Giles pass to eternal life

          IX. How, by the merits of Brother Giles, the soul of the friend of           a Friar Preacher was delivered from the pains of Purgatory

          X. How God gave special graces to Brother Giles; and of the year           of his death

    PART IV: THE CHAPTERS OF CERTAIN INSTRUCTIONS AND NOTABLE SAYINGS OF     BROTHER GILES

          I. Of vices and virtues

          II. Of faith

          III. Of holy humility

          IV. Of the holy fear of God

          V. Of holy patience

          VI. Of sloth

          VII. Of the contempt of temporal things

          VIII. Of holy chastity

          IX. Of temptations

          X. Of holy penance

          XI. Of holy prayer

          XII. Of holy spiritual prudence

          XIII. Of knowledge useful and useless

          XIV. Of good and evil speaking

          XV. Of holy perseverance

          XVI. Of true religious life

          XVII. Of holy obedience

          XVIII. Of the remembrance of death

                                INTRODUCTION

                                      I

    The first English translation of the Fioretti di Santo Francesco d' Ascesi, that of Lady Georgina Fullerton, appeared in the year 1864; and the first American translation, that by Abby Langdon Alger, was published in the year 1887. This is a good four centuries after the princeps edition of the Fioretti (Vicenza, 1476), and a half century after the "standard" Italian edition by Antonio Cesari (Verona, 1822). The tardiness of Anglo-Saxon recognition of this, one of the raciest, most spirited, and most beloved of the Italian classics is not to be grasped out of hand. Religious considerations, obvious as they might seem could not account for the indifference of the fathers of English printing. Once published, moreover, the Fioretti made their way in their own right. The present century has witnessed numerous other translations in England and America and dozens of reprintings in America alone. I suspect, rather, that it was a strange case of editorial oversight, a nugget of gold that was there for anyone, yet was for centuries overlooked. The title may have had something to do with it. The phrase "Little Flowers" has, in English, a vague aroma of sentiment and propaganda, and by virtue of the diminutive it has acquired a similar flavor even in Italian. Suppose this collection of tales had been called the "Franciscan Anthology", a title at once more exact and more majestic in its associations? Or suppose, somewhat facetiously, but still within its spirit, it had been known as the "Selected Miracles of Saint Francis and his Brethren"? The story as regards the English-speaking would might, I believe, have been different.     I have called the Fioretti "tales"; and tales they are, fixed upon Saint Francis and his earliest disciples in the way in which legend accumulates about any celebrated character in history. But, in this case, and in contrast with the situation that usually prevails in folklore, the "stories" have a certain authority as history. One hundred years of Franciscan scholarship enable us even to evaluate the authenticity of the Little Flowers.     Saint Francis died in 1226. But his amanuensis, secretary, and confessor, his beloved brother Leo (who is quoted extensively in the Little Flowers), lived on till the year 1271. The Friar, Giovanni dalla Penna, one of the early missionaries of the Order in Germany, and another of the sources, did not die till 1274. In the year 1257 had come the great crisis in the Franciscan Order, whereby the Church, frowning darkly on an orgy of religious "revival" which enabled humble, ignorant and sometimes stuttering peasants to talk with God in His Three Persons sicut amicus cum amico, had given a more ecclesiastical temper to the Franciscan "Rule", and aimed at representing mystical and miracle-working activity among the friars. This debate was conducted bitterly and with some show of force. John of Parma, leader of the "zealots" and Saint Bonaventura's predecessor as General of the Order, stood, at one mom

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