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ROGER OF WENDOVER Flowers of history. The history of England from the descent of the saxons to A.D. 1235. vol.2

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ROGER OF WENDOVER
Flowers of history. The history of England from the descent of the saxons to A.D. 1235. vol.2
page 497



496 liOGF.lt OF WENDOVEB. [».D . 1227. spread abroad throughout all Italy, so that many of noble birth, following his example, left the world and its vices and desires, and submitted themselves to his teaching. This order of the brethren above mentioned soon increased throughout the world, and they dwelt in cities and castles, and went forth in those days by sevens and tens preaching the word of life through the towns and in the parochial churches, and even amongst the field labourers they planted the roots of virtue, and offered to the Lord abundance of fruit even with usury ; and it was not only amongst the Christians that they scattered the seed of the word of God and the dew of the heavenly doctrine, but they also went to the provinces of the ( icntiles and Saracens, bearing testimony to the truth, and, by their means many of those nations attained the glory of martyrdom. Of the assembling of the people at the death of the aforesaid brother. At length, after this friend of God, Francis, had, with his brethren, preached the gospel of peace for many years in the city of Rome and the adjacent country, and like a good usurer had restored the talent entrusted to him to the Giver with interest many fold, the hour came for him to depart from this world to Christ, and as a reward for his labours to receive the crown of life which God has promised to those who love him. On the fifteenth day before his death there appeared wounds in his hands and feet, continually emitting blood, such as appeared in the Saviour of the world on the cross when he was crucified by the Jews. His right side also was laid open and sprinkled with blood, so that the secret recesses of his heart were plainly visible. On this being known great crowds of people of both sexes flocked to him who were astonished at such a strange circumstance : amongst others cardinals came to him and incpiired what the vision meant. To this he replied, " This vision is shown in me that you, to whom I have preached the mysteries of the cross, may believe in Him who, for the preservation of the world, suffered on the rross the wounds which you here sec, and that you may know that I am a servant of him whom I have preached to you, crucified, dead, and restored to life, and that, all doubt being removed, you may persevere in this faith to the end ; these wounds in me which vou now sec open and bloody, will, as soon as I am dead, become healed


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