Saturday, May 28, 2011
Borgo San Sepolcro
A party of bandits who used to hide in the woods and rob travellers occasionally came for food to a hermitage of the friars situated above Borgo San Sepolcro. Some of the friars said that it was not right to give them alms, while others did so out of compassion, and urged them to repent. Meanwhile blessed Francis came to this friary, and the brothers asked him whether it was right to give them alms. And he said to them: "If you do as I tell you, I trust in God that we shall win their souls. So go and bring some good bread and wine, and take it to the woods where they live. And shout to them, saying, 'Brother bandits, come to us. We are friars, and are bringing you some good bread and wine! ' "
"On a later day take them eggs and cheese with the bread and wine. 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 the bandits entered the Order, while the others did penance for their sins and served the friars.
Saint Francis of Assisi
Mirror of Perfection - 66