Francis when he pronounced the name Bethlehem felt the honey in the mouth. When he began to do penance and to show mercy to the lepers, he could say: "What had seemed bitter to me was changed into sweetness of soul and body".
The chariot of fire
At about midnight who was awake and praying in silence she saw the door of the house a bright chariot of fire that took two or three laps here and there about the room, it rested on a large globe, shining like the sun illuminated the dark night.
They were amazed by not only the light that enters the body, but also in the spirit which had extraordinary effects. Meeting, they wondered the significance of the phenomenon, then realized that this was definitely the soul of the blessed Father. It was an extraordinary gift bestowed by God to Francis for his purity and his ardent love for the creatures.
One day while Francis was thinking of leaving the worldly life, riding through the fields outside the walls of Assisi, he heard distinctly the sound of a bell. He saw a disfigured be coming to meet him, he was a leper with tainted meat, calcified that emitted a stench unbearable.
Francis had to flee the motion because he knew that leprosy was a disease very contagious, but overcame his repugnance, he descended from his horse, approached the leper and kissed him with the kiss of love. Climbed on horseback, he turned to greet the leper, but that was gone. That leper was Jesus Christ descended to earth to receive a kiss from his servant.
Francis in his will he wrote:
"When I was in sin, too bitter to me seemed to see the lepers, and the Lord led me among them, when I left, what first estimation bitter, I was changed into sweetness of soul and body, and after I left the world&qot;.
The Seal of Christ
Francis, with a few companions, reached the summit of La Verna, where he practiced for several days an increasingly ardent prayer. On 14 September 1224, the day of the Exaltation of the Cross in the early hours of the morning Francis was marked by the stigmata. Celano says: "A man who was above him, like a seraph with six wings, hands outstretched and feet together and secured to a cross. Two of the wings were outstretched over his head, two were outstretched as if to fly, and Both were wrapped around the body. When the servant of the Most Blessed saw these things, he was filled with the biggest surprise, but still could not understand what this vision meant. But he was full of happiness and rejoiced greatly to the courteous and kind look with which you could look at the seraph, whose beauty was priceless ... And while he was unable to reach an understanding of what the vision and the strangeness perplexed his heart, the marks of nails began to appear in his hands and his feet just as she had seen them just before the crucified man above him ... In addition, his left flank was as if he had been pierced by a spear.
The whole town of Gubbio lived under the specter of a wolf that appeared in the city was in the frequent killing of animals and men, the poor and frightened people to defend themselves were forced to shut within the walls.
Francis had compassion for these people and inspired by the Lord, left the town to meet the Wolf. When he saw the animal coming towards him, stopped him with a gesture of the cross and said, "Brother Wolf, come to me, I command thee from Christ that you do not hurt either to me or anyone, I promise you that people will ensure your livelihood, you're? ". The Wolf meek as a lamb, held out his paw to Francis to accept the pact proposed in front of all citizens dazed. The Wolf lived long among the residents without doing any harm. The inhabitants, in memory of such a wonderful miracle, began building a church that still exists is called the church of the "Victory".
One day the poor man of Assisi stood in prayer to obtain from God as the lighting would be his life and that of his brethren. Immediately felt inundate the intimate heart of ineffable joy and immense sweetness. He was kidnapped outside of himself and lighting could contemplate clearly divine the future. After contemplation, and returned full of joy, said to his brothers: "Beloved, comforted and rejoice in the Lord, do not mourn the fact that they are few, are not intimidated by my and your ease, because, as the Lord has revealed to me He will make us a countless multitude, and we propagate to the ends of the world. I saw a lot of people come to us, willing to live with the holy habit of common life and according to the Rule of Blessed Religion. still ringing in ears the noise of their coming and going in accordance with the command of the holy obedience! I saw the streets crowded with them, from almost all nations".
One day, while St. Francis spoke to the people gathered in the square in Aviano, a flock of swallows fluttering so strong as to prevent his voice came to the company. Francis spoke to them in the following words: "My sisters the swallows, now it's my turn to speak, because you have already done enough, hear the word of God silent and quiet, until the delivery is finished." The flock quickly to the amazement of the crowd fell silent and remained so until the sermon was finished. Those present were amazed in front of this sign and said, "Truly this man is a saint and a friend of the Most High.".