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The Legend of a Saint

The Legend of a Saint

One of the earliest legends of St. Francis speaks of a fierce wolf near the town of Gubbio who was eating animals and humans because he was starving. The entire town was afraid to go outside the town walls until St. Francis–convincing the people the wolf’s hunger was what caused him to do wrong–met with the wolf, blessed it and is reported to have said, ” Brother Wolf, you have done great harm to this region, not only destroying other creatures without mercy, but you even have the brazenness to kill and devour human beings made in the image of God. You deserve severe punishment; but I want to make peace between you and the town, so that they will not be harmed by you anymore and after they have forgiven you, neither men or dogs will pursue you any more.” The wolf indicated it would accept these terms, and offered his paw as a sign. St. Francis of the animals said, “I promise that the town will feed you every day; I know that what you did, you did out of hunger.” The town promised to do what the saint had bargained, and having adopted the wolf, fed him until the day he died.

 

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