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How God Spoke to Fr. Sylvester in a Vision

From the Franciscan Sources:

“On the occasion when, as we have said, Master Bernard gave all his goods to the poor, Francis was there, helping him. A priest named Sylvester was also present from whom Francis had bought some stones when he was repairing the church of St. Damian and was still alone without any companions. Seeing so much money being scattered broadcast on Francis’ advice, Sylvester was moved by envy and approached the servant of God, saying: ‘You did not fully pay for those stones you bought from me.’ Francis scorned avarice and greed, and when he heard this unjust complaint, he went up to Bernard, and putting his hand into the pocket of Bernard’s cloak which contained the money, he drew out a handful of coins, and in great fervor of spirit gave them to the dissatisfied priest, saying: ‘Are you fully paid now, Master Priest?’ Sylvester replied, ‘Yes, Brother,’ and went home, well pleased with what he had received. But a few days later, by divine inspiration, the same priest began to reflect on Francis’ action, and said to himself: ‘Am I not a miserable man, old as I am, to be avid for temporal goods, when this young man despises and hates them for the love of God?’ During the following night in a dream he saw an immense cross reaching to the sky, and its foot was planted in the mouth of Francis, while its arms spread from one end of the world to the other. On awaking, the priest realized and was convinced that blessed Francis was indeed the friend and servant of Jesus Christ and that the form of religion was inducing would spread over the entire earth. Thus Sylvester was brought to fear of God, and he began to do penance while still living in his own house. Before long, however, he entered the fraternity in which he lived perfectly and dies gloriously.”

(Legend of the Three Companions, Chap. IX, 30-31)

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