Monday, March 07, 2011
A party of bandits who used to hide in the woods and rob travellers occasionally came for food to the hermitage of the friars situated above Borgo San Sepolcro. The brothers asked St. Francis if it was right to give them alms. And he said to them, "If you will do as I tell you, I trust in God that we shall win their souls." So go and take some bread and wine to where they live and after the meal say to them, "Why do you stay here all day to die of hunger, and suffer so much hardship? And why do you do so many evil things, for which you will lose your souls unless you turn to God? It is better to serve God, for He will both supply your bodily needs in this world, and save your souls at the last." Then God will move them to repentance because of the humility and charity that you have shown them."
At length some of the bandits entered the Order; the others confessed their crimes and did penance for their sins, laying their hands in those of the friars, and promising that henceforth they would live by their own labor and never do such things again.
Saint Francis of Assisi
Mirror of Perfection - 66