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Little Flowers of St. Francis of Assisi
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CHAPTER LI


OF THE HOLY BROTHER JAMES OF FALLERONE, AND HOW, AFTER HIS DEATH, HE APPEARED TO BROTHER JOHN OF ALVERNIA


At the time when Brother James of Fallerone, a man of great sanctity, was dangerously ill in the Convent of Moliano, in the custody of Fermo, Brother John of Alvernia, who was then living in the Convent of Massa, hearing of his illness, and loving him as his dear father, began to pray for him, imploring God most devoutly in prayer to restore to Brother James the health of the body, if such were for the good of his soul. As he prayed he was rapt in ecsasty, and he saw in the air a great army of angels and saints above his cell, which was in the forest; they were surrounded by such splendour and glory, that all the country round was illuminated. Among the angels he saw the said Brother James, for whom he was praying, clothed in white and shining raiment; he saw also the holy father St Francis, with the sacred stigmata of Christ on his hands and feet, most glorious; he likewise beheld Brother Lucido the holy, and Brother Matthew of Monte Rubbiano, and many other brothers whom he had neither seen nor known in this life. And as he contemplated with great delight that holy band of saints, it was revealed to him that the sick brother for whom he had been praying would die of the disease whereof he was lying ill, and that his soul would be saved; but that he would not go straight to heaven after death, as it was necessary he should be purified for a time in purgatory. And this revelation made to Brother John filled his heart with such joy that he did not grieve over the death of Brother James, but experienced great sweetness in his soul; and he said with himself: “Brother James, my sweet father; Brother James, my sweet brother; Brother James, faithful servant and friend of God; Brother James, companion of the angels and one of the army of saints!” And s he was thus rejoicing he came to himself; and leaving the convent immediately, he went to visit Brother James at Moliano, and found him so much worse that he could scarcely speak. Then he announced to him the death of his body and the salvation and glory of his soul, of which he was certain through divine revelation; and Brother James received him most joyfully, thanking him for the good news he brought, and praying him devoutly not to forget him. Brother John begged him after death to come to him and tell him where he was and how it fared with him, which Brother James promised to do if it should please the Lord. The moment of his death approaching, Brother James began to repeat with great devotion the verse of the psalm, In pace in idipsum dormiam et requiescam; which signifieth, “I will go to sleep in peace, and will rest in life eternal”; and having said these words, he left this world, with joyful countenance. When he was buried, Brother John returned to the Convent of Massa, and there awaited the accomplishment of the promise of Brother James that he would appear to him after death. As he was in prayer on that same day, Christ, the blessed one, appeared to him surrounded by a multitude of angels and saints; but Brother James was not with them, which thing greatly surprised Brother John, who recommended him most devoutly to Christ the blessed. The following day, as he was again praying in the forest, Brother James appeared in the company of angels, his countenance beaming with joy; and Brother John said to him: “O most dear Father, why didst thou not appear to me on the day thou promised?” Brother James answered: “Because it was necessary that I should be purified in purgatory; but at the same hour that Christ appeared to thee, and in which thou didst recommend me to him, he granted thy prayer and I was freed from all suffering, and I appeared to Brother James of Massa, a holy lay brother, who was serving Mass; and I saw the consecrated Host, when the priest lifted it up, changed into a beautiful living child; and I said to him, ‘This day I shall go with him to life eternal, where none can go without him.’” And having said these words, Brother James disappeared, and went up to heaven with the holy company of angels, and Brother John was greatly comforted. The said Brother James of Fallerone died on the Vigil of St James the Apostle, in the month of July, in the above-named Convent of Moliano; and through his merits the divine Goodness wrought many miracles after his death.



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