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CHAPTER XIX

How upon an Easter Even he was healed by a Vision of Angels

(1)

HIS sickness came upon him more grievously and oftener during the season of Lent than at other times in the year because the Lenten fare was somewhat trying and ill to digest; but though at this season his bodily weakness was greater yet he offered himself to keep the fast with a mind even more cheerful than usual; once his strength so drooped owing to his abstaining almost entirely from food—and the consequent weakness of his stomach—that there was scarcely a hope that he could live till Easter. But the devout prayers of the Brothers cried without ceasing to God for him, and they implored that answering Grace Which they had often known before. At that time all human aid was failing and they had recourse to the power of God, that mightiest source of comfort.

(2) So when the fast was over and the glorious Festival of the Lord’s Resurrection was at hand, this chosen man of God was resting on his bed steeped in a sweet sleep; and behold! on this most holy Paschal night he was thought worthy to receive the comfort and consolation of an Angelic vision. He saw two angels appear before him, one standing upon the right side of his bed and the other upon the left; one lifted up his hand and brandished a sword over the head of the sleeper, as if in act to strike, but the other stayed the blow, and forbade him, saying, “Smite him 123not, for his life shall yet be whole within him and he shall not die.” Amazed at this vision sent from heaven, Florentius awoke, raised as it were from death to life and wondrously comforted in the Lord; calling his servant—who was sleeping in the cell near at hand—he said, in a confident voice, “Arise, and prepare me something to eat to-day; I feel that I am mending, and we must keep feast in the Lord together!” Then the servant, filled with great joy, hasted to do as Florentius commanded, and all who heard thereof were filled with amazement and joy that he who they had lately feared must die had begun so quickly to amend.

(3) This vision he afterward told to his uncle, the Canon of St. Mary’s Church in Utrecht, who loved him with all his heart. He did not name himself, but told how it was revealed to a certain man that he should live awhile longer. Upon this his uncle did congratulate him greatly, and blessed God who had sent His Angel and saved Florentius from the destruction of death.

The illustrious Florentius lived for several years after this, to the comfort of all devout persons, both clerks and lay folk, who came to him from divers parts and countries for the healing of their souls: for this man of God and the Community of Brothers, who were gathered together in his house, became by their precept and example leaders in holy conversation to such devout persons, to the Glory of God Almighty.

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