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By Scott O'Dell

Rich within the surroundings of thirteenth-century Italy, the line to Damietta bargains via Ricca di Montanaro’s eyes a brand new point of view at the guy who grew to become the recognized Saint Francis of Assisi, the guileless, joyous guy who praised the oneness of nature and sought to convey the realm into concord. “Lord, make me an device of Thy peace,” he acknowledged. “Where there's hatred, enable me sow love, the place there's damage, pardon; the place there's doubt, religion; the place there's darkness, gentle; the place there's disappointment, joy.”

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It really is possible," I stated. She shook her head. "I can think you loving Christ in the event you have been born simply because he's divine and divine love is eternal. It exists consistently, from the start to the top. " "Human love is divine also," I stated. "I heard Francis say so, as soon as in Porziuncola. I be mindful the hour and the day and the month. " "And the 12 months, after all. " "I keep in mind him announcing, 'O grasp, furnish that i could now not quite a bit search to be consoled as to console, to be understood as to appreciate, to be enjoyed as to like. Love is... '" Trumpets drowned out my phrases and a refrain of bells rang forth. As Francis used to be borne away, we him. Clare acknowledged, "When he took his vows, in the course of all the days on account that that point, in case you have been breathlessly pursuing him, did you ever say to your self, 'Ricca di Montanaro, you're committing a dreadful sin? " "No, why should still I? " "But now that he's lifeless, what do you are saying to your self? " "I say that someday he'll be a saint, although this can be the least of all that he would want for himself. And that you'll be a saint also—Saint Clare of Assisi. And that by no means, by no means, during this lifestyles or in a while, will I develop into a saint. " "You think little. " "Little and infrequently. " "Not a shred of contrition for all of your lustful striving. " I shook my head and used to be silent. I had no purpose of letting Clare know the way i assumed or felt. We have been walking, trudging alongside within the dust, hopping over puddles simply because rain had fallen within the evening. We got here to the ground of the hill, to the crossing of the 2 slender roads. It used to be right here that Francis had requested those that have been sporting him to place him down in order that he may glance again, although he could not see, and bless town of his delivery. by surprise to me he used to be there back, kneeling within the dust, his palms outstretched, his blind eyes fastened upon the grey partitions of Assisi. Myself blinded, i assumed of the millions of outcasts he had taken into his palms and of the multitude but to return whom he could convenience. Clare used to be in a wheat box, wandering approximately. She got here again with a wildflower known as footsteps-of-spring that by some means had bloomed past its time, and she or he gave it to me. The trumpets have been quiet now. the one sound I heard was once the making a song of larks. Then from past a pointy bend I heard a bell. We stumbled on the fellow unexpectedly. He used to be in the course of the line, no longer ten strides away, jogging slowly with a leper's bell held in either his arms. He begun as he observed us and shambled off towards a clump of timber, the iron bell nonetheless ringing. I overtook him notwithstanding he attempted to escape. His face used to be skinny and scarred. I held out the four-petaled flower Clare had given to me. He glanced at it for a second. Then he took the flower and held it to his twisted lips and thanked me together with his eyes.

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