Stories & Reflections
Francesco rose from the mud of the battlefield. It did not look good for the fighters of Assisi. The Perugians were in possession of superior weaponry. Francesco’s ambitions of fame for his chivalrous deeds were critically endangered and his father would send him on yet another business trip to sell the family textiles. Francesco cursed as he attempted to move away and slipped on a pool of his own blood. It was not a serious wound but his shoulder bled profusely.
‘On your feet! We’ve got ground to cover,’ came the gruff voice of his captor as he kicked Francesco in the ribs.
A three-day painful walk brought Francesco and his fellow captives to the entrance of the enemy’s cavernous jail. He entered the yawning darkness of oblivion, and with it, the fiery delirium of malaria; a hell that the spoiled merchant’s son could never have imagined. He emerged from his cathartic abode as a man determined to travel, a mendicant on the path to divine grace. He surfaced clutching the hand of Christ that would one day mark him with the stigmata of the passionate outcast, the renegade mystic. The words of his captor echoed frequently in his soul. ‘On your feet! We’ve got ground to cover,’ became the sweet refrain of Francesco’s beloved Lord as he staggered agonizingly to sainthood.
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