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CHAPTER XVIII

How he often recovered by the aid of the prayers of the devout

WH1LE he suffered continually in the flesh yet was he instant in rendering thanks to God with all diligence, because the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the gaining of the glory of God to come. And he bore with patience the rod of the Lord “that was uplifted against him, as an wholesome discipline for his soul,” bethinking him that this was a sign of love, as the Apostle saith, “Whom the Lord loveth He chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom He receiveth.” Our good Lord, desiring to show how greatly the tried virtue of His sons doth please Him, and how the prayers of the righteous do avail much, showed mercy toward His beloved priest, who was often brought to the very extremity of weakness, though the physicians thought that there was no hope of saving his life by any human means. Florentius himself put all his hope in the Lord, Who with His saving grace doth raise up the deserving. So often therefore as perilous sickness did assail him he was commended to the fervent daily prayers of the neighbouring Religious Communities of Brothers, Clerks, and Nuns, that they might implore God to spare him yet a little, and save his life for the weal of many; and that the devout might not suffer sorrow upon sorrow as they must if they were bereft of a Father so beloved and a director so necessary to them.

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(2) I myself sometimes was the messenger on such an occasion, and said to the Nuns, “Pray for our lord Florentius, for his sickness is heavy upon him.” And behold, the merciful God, who despiseth not the prayer of the poor, but doth readily hear the vows of the humble, restored his beloved and faithful servant to health, “to make known His power to the sons of men.”

(3) In those days there was one renowned for his knowledge of medicine, named Everard Eza, Curate of Almelo, a man of much skill and repute amongst the doctors of medicine; this man, being inspired by the grace of the Religious Life, became the familiar friend of Florentius and his Brothers, and others who were vowed to Christ; he was wont to come often to Florentius, and to give him freely the relief that his art afforded; and the Brothers loved him much and received him with reverence. He showed great diligence to heal his beloved friend, and was often very helpful to him; also he relieved the sadness of the Brothers, and consoled them by his confidence that there was hope that the life of Florentius would be saved, saying to them, “I do put my faith in God rather than in the art of medicine, considering this namely, that it doth surpass human strength for one to have lived so long with such a weakly body, and unless the special grace of God were preserving him, and the prayers of many were being offered for him, he would immediately die, or rather he would have been dead long since. It is good, therefore, to pray faithfully for him, for the saving of his life doth depend particularly upon the Grace of God.”

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