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How St. Francis Converted the Sultan...

"You must instruct and bring to your children the knowledge of your saints. Their example is in the light, My children. Those you have set up to idolize upon earth now are the creations of satan. You must accept and follow the example of your saints, those who have been given this honor by your holy Church. They, too, My child, did not win their crowns without trial, rejection, and often, martyrdom." - Jesus, June 5, 1975

Taken from the Little Flowers of St. Francis:

Spurred on by zeal for the faith of Christ and incited by a desire for martyrdom, St. Francis at one time went beyond the seas with twelve of his very holy companions, planning to travel right to the Sultan of Babylonia.

Now when he arrived in a certain county of the Saracens, where such cruel men guarded the roads that no Christian passing through these could escape being killed, by the grace of God they were not killed, but were taken prisoners, beaten in various ways and very roughly bound and then led before the Sultan.

In his presence St. Francis preached under the guidance of the Holy Spirit in such a divine way about the holy Catholic faith that he offered to enter the fire for it. As a result, the Sultan began to feel great devotion for him, both because of the unshakable conviction of his faith and because of his contempt of the world--for though he was utterly poor he would not accept any gifts--and also because of his fervent longing for martyrdom. And thereafter the Sultan willingly listened to him and asked him to come back to see him many times. Moreover, he generously granted permission to him and to his companions to go anywhere and freely preach wherever they wished in all his empire. And he gave them a certain little token so that no one who saw it should harm them.

After receiving that generous permission, St. Francis sent those chosen companions of his, two by two, into various lands of the Saracens to preach the faith of Christ.

At last, seeing that he was unable to gather the fruit which he desired in that country, St. Francis, as a result of a revelation from God, prepared to return to the lands of the faithful with all his companions, and he assembled them together again. Then he went back to the Sultan and told him that he planned to leave.

The Sultan said to him: "Brother Francis, I would willingly be converted to the faith of Christ, but I am afraid to do it now, because these Saracens, if they heard about it, would immediately kill me and you, with all your companions. And since you can still do a great deal of good, and I have to do many important things for the salvation of my soul, I do not want to bring about your premature death and mind. But show me how I can achieve salvation, and I am ready to obey you in everything."

Then St. Francis said to him: "My lord, I am leaving you now, but after I have returned to my country and at the call of God, gone to Heaven, after my death, through Divine Providence, I will send you two of my friars from whom you will receive the baptism of Christ and you will be saved, as my Lord Jesus Christ has revealed to me. And meanwhile free yourself from all that may hinder you, so that when the grace of Christ comes to you, He may find you well disposed in faith and devotion."

The Sultan gladly agreed and promised to do so, and he faithfully obeyed.

After saying goodbye to him, St. Francis went back to the lands of the faithful with that venerable group of his holy companions. And after some years, St. Francis gave up his soul to God by the death of his body.

And the Sultan grew ill. But awaiting the fulfillment of the dead Saint's promise, he stationed guards at the gates with orders to bring quickly to him two friars in the habit of St. Francis if they should show up.

At that time St. Francis appeared to two of his friars and ordered them to travel without delay to the Sultan and to obtain for him the salvation which the Saint had promised him. Those friars set out immediately and devoutly to fulfill his command. And after going over the sea, they were led to the Sultan by his guards.

When he saw them, the Sultan was filled with intense joy and he said: "Now I know indeed that the Lord has send His servants to me for my salvation, as St. Francis promised me through a divine revelation."

And after receiving instruction in the faith of Christ and holy Baptism from those friars, he died reborn in that illness, and his soul was saved through the merits of St. Francis.

To the glory of Christ the Blessed. Amen.

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"Know, My children, that nothing has been wasted--no act of charity has been wasted, and none shall say that they didn't try; because that is also the secret of success into the Kingdom of God, is that you will try to follow in My Son's steps."  - Our Lady of the Roses, June 18, 1984

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October 04, 2012