Sunday, May 29, 2011
At St. Mary of the Angels ("Santa Maria degli Angeli" or "the Portiuncula") St. Francis had a table prepared on the bare ground, as was his custom. He and St. Clare sat down together, and one of his companions with St. Clare's companion, and all his other companions were grouped around that humble table. But at the first course, St. Francis began to speak about God in such a sweet and holy and profound and divine and marvelous way that he himself and St. Clare and her companion and all the others who were at that poor little table were rapt in God by the overabundance of divine grace that descended upon them.
And while they were sitting there, in a rapture, with their eyes and hands raised to Heaven, it seemed to the men of Assisi and Bettona and the entire district that the church of St. Mary of the Angels and the whole Place and the forest which was at that time around the Place were all aflame and that an immense fire was burning over all of them. Consequently, the men of Assisi ran down there in great haste to save the Place and put out the fire, as they firmly believed that everything was burning up.
But when they reached the Place, they saw that nothing was on fire. Entering the Place, they found St. Francis with St. Clare and all the companions sitting around that very humble table, rapt in God by contemplation and invested with power from on high.
Saint Francis of Assisi
Little Flowers of St. Francis - 15