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CHAPTER XLVI


HOW BROTHER PACIFICO, BEING IN PRAYER, SAW THE SOUL OF BROTHER UMILE, HIS BROTHER IN THE FLESH, GO UP TO HEAVEN


There were two brothers of the province of Ancona who entered the Order after the death of St Francis - one was named Brother Umile, and the other Brother Pacifico - both of whom attained a great degree of perfection and sanctity. Brother Umile lived in the Convent of Soffiano, and there he died; Brother Pacifico lived in another convent, at some distance. It pleased God that Brother Pacifico, being one day in prayer in a solitary place, was rapt in ecstasy, and saw the soul of his brother, which had just left his body, go straight to heaven without any hindrance. Many years after this, Brother Pacifico was sent to the Convent of Soffiano, where his brother had died, at the time when the friars, at the demand of the Lords of Bruforte, changed their convent for another, and were removing the remains of the holy brothers who had died there. Then the grave of Brother Umile was opened, his brother took his bones, and having washed them in wine, wrapped them carefully in a white napkin, and weeping over them, kissed them with great devotion. The other brothers were much surprised that he should set them such bad example, for they could not understand how a man so holy could show such carnal affection towards his brother, honouring his remains so far above those of the other friars, who, not being less holy than Brother Umile, were worthy of like honour. Then Brother Pacifico, knowing how he was misjudged by the brethren, humbly explained to them his conduct, saying: “My most dear brothers, be not surprised if I honour the bones of my brother above those of the other friars; for, thanks be to God, it is not through carnal affection that I do this, but because when my brother left this life I was praying in a solitary place, very far from the convent where he lay dead, and I saw his soul go straight to heaven; wherefore I am sure that his bones are holy, and will be honoured in heaven. If the Lord had revealed to me the same things of the other friars, I would treat their bones also with equal reverence.” Then the brethren being convinced that his intentions were holy and just, were greatly edified by what he had told them, and praised God who did such wonderful things for his holy friars.


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