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Little Flowers of St. Francis of Assisi
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CHAPTER XXIII


HOW ST FRANCIS DELIVERED THE BROTHER WHO, BEING IN SIN, HAD FALLEN INTO THE  POWER OF THE DEVIL


St Francis, being one day in prayer in the Convent of the Portiuncula, saw, by the revelation of God, that all the convent was surrounded and besieged by devils, as by a great army; but none could penetrate into the convent, because the brothers were so holy that the demons could not enter into any of them. They remained, however, on the watch, until one day a certain brother being offended by another, thought in his heart how he could accuse and do him harm. Having yielded to this evil thought, the devil, seeing a way open to him, entered the convent and took possession of the brother. On this St Francis, like a vigilant pastor, ever watching over his flock, seeing the brother, and commanded him to confess immediately the hatred he had nourished in his heart towards his neighbour, which had caused him to fall into the power of the enemy. The brother, much alarmed, and seeing that his saintly father had penetrated into his deepest thoughts, confessed the evil feeling which had entered into his heart, and humbly asked pardon and penance. When he had done this, and being absolved of his sin had accepted his penance, St Francis beheld the devil to flee away; and the brother, being freed from such a cruel monster through the charity of his good shepherd, thanked God, and returned to the little flock of the saintly pastor corrected and strengthened, and lived afterwards in great sanctity.


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