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Little Flowers of St. Francis of Assisi
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CHAPTER XV


HOW ST FRANCIS COMMANDED BROTHER LEO TO WASH THE STONE


When St Francis was speaking with Brother Leo on Mount Alvernia, he said to him: “Brother little lamb, wash this stone with water.” Then Brother Leo went forth and washed it with water. Then said St Francis, with great joy and gladness: “Wash it with wine”; and it was done. “Wash it,” said St Francis again, “with oil”; and Brother Leo did so. Then said St Francis: “Brother little lamb, wash this stone with balm.” And Brother Leo answered: “O sweet father, how am I to get balm in the wilderness?” Then St Francis replied: “Know, Brother little lamb, that this is the stone on which Christ once was seated when he appeared to me in this place, and therefore did I bid thee wash it four times, and no more, because Jesus Christ then promised me four singular graces for my Order. The first, that all those who shall cordially love my Order, and all the friars who shall persevere therein, shall die a good death. The second, that those who persecute this holy Religion shall be notably punished. The third, that no evil-doer, continuing in his perversity, shall be able to persevere long in this Order. The fourth, that this Religion shall endure until the day of judgment.”


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