St. Francis heals a man from Llerda

In the city of Llerda in Catalonia a certain man called Juan, who was devoted to blessed Francis, happened to pass by one evening on the road where there was concealed a deadly ambush—not for him, actually, for he harbored no hostilities, but for another man who looked like him and who often was in his company. One of the men who lay in ambush leaped out of hiding and, taking him for his enemy, stabbed him with deadly blows, wounding him repeatedly, so there was no hope of his recovery.

The physicians pronounced his healing to be impossible. So, since he was beyond all human aid, he turned with all possible devotion to beg the protection of the blessed Father Francis, on whom (as well as on the blessed Virgin) he had called with great trust even in the middle of the ambush.

Behold, as the poor man lay all alone on his bed, unable to sleep and moaning Francis’ name over and over, it seemed to him that someone dressed in the habit of a Lesser Brother came in through the window and approached him. This person called him by name and said: “Since you have placed your trust in me, behold, the Lord will deliver you.” When the wounded man asked him who he was, he answered that he was Francis. And as soon as he said this, he approached the man’s wounds, undid the bandages, and seemed to anoint all the wounds with an ointment. No sooner did he feel the gentle touch of those sacred hands, which had the capacity to heal by the power of the Savior’s stigmata, than the flesh was restored and the wounds were closed, so that he was once again in perfect health. After doing this, the blessed Father disappeared.

The man, feeling himself healed, burst out exultantly into shouts of praise to God and Saint Francis, and cried out for his wife. She hurried in at a run, and, as she saw the man standing up whom she had expected to bury the next day, she was utterly terrified and stunned, so that by her screams she gathered the whole neighborhood.

The people of the household hurried in, and tried to force him back into bed, thinking he was in delirium, while he fought them off, insisting that he was cured, [saying] “Do not be afraid! Do not believe that what you see is false, because Saint Francis has just left this place and has cured me completely of every wound by the touch of those sacred hands.” As the news of this miracle spread, the whole town hastened there. Seeing the power of blessed Francis’s stigmata by means of such an obvious miracle, they were at the same time filled with wonder and with joy, and extolled Christ’s standard bearer with loud cries of praise.

 

It was fitting indeed that the blessed Father,
now already dead in the flesh, and living with Christ,
should give health to a mortally wounded man
by the wonderful manifestation of his presence
and the gentle touch of his sacred hands,
since he bore upon his body the brand marks
of the One who,
by His merciful death and wondrous resurrection,
had healed the human race
—which had been wounded and left half alive—
healing us by the power of His wounds.

 

 

From The Major Legend of Saint Francis by St. Bonaventure of Bagnoregio, Miracles I, 5