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Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Was St. Francis sadistic?

Sometimes I seem to draw the wrong moral from uplifting stories. Read the one below, from "Reflections of CARITAS", and see if you don't think Francis of Assisi was a bit cruel:

One of St. Francis of Assisi’s’ loyal companions was Brother Masseo. Tradition tells us that one day Francis and Masseo were traveling in the Tuscany region. They were in unfamiliar territory. Francis and Masseo were confronted with a crossroad. Not knowing which road to take, Masseo looked to Francis for advice. Francis confidently told Masseo that they would take the road God wanted them to take. As only Francis could, he told Masseo to twirl around until he was told to stop. After a few very long seconds Francis issued the command ~ “Stop, Brother Masseo.” Unsteady on his feet, the brother obeyed. Then Francis asked Masseo which way he was facing. Masseo pointed in the direction that he and Francis would travel.


Even assuming you wanted to pick a random route, couldn't Francis have flipped a coin, or used "rock, paper scissors"? What's the point of torturing more Masseo?