• Document: SAINT FRANCIS OF ASSISI. The Wolf of Gubbio. and other Wonderful Stories for Children
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1 SAINT FRANCIS OF ASSISI The Wolf of Gubbio and other Wonderful Stories for Children 2 The Wolf of Gubbio and other Wonderful Stories for Children. Editor: John Cooper OFM Cap. Illustrated by: Philip Padayao “Flip Flop” Copyright “Saint Francis Projects” © 2011 Used with permission of SFP by The Secular Franciscan Order of Australia. 3 THE WOLF OF GUBBIO (Fioretti 21) Once a fierce wolf lived in the wood near a little town called Gubbio. He was so strong and fierce and cruel that all the people were terrified of him. He was a terrible bully. When he was hungry he ate their cattle and he had even killed some of the men and women. No one dared to go out of the town alone. When it was necessary to take a message from Gubbio to another town, or for traders to sell their goods elsewhere, men travelled in groups and carried swords as if they were going to war. One day Saint Francis came to Gubbio. He wanted to help the people to love God and to teach them to think more often of Heaven. When he heard about the wolf he felt very sorry for the people and promised to help them. “I will take care of this wolf,” he said, “I will go out at once and meet him.” 4 Saint Francis asked God to protect him and then he set out to find the wolf. Some of the men started off with him, but when they came near the woods where the wolf lived the men became afraid and would not go any further. So Saint Francis went on alone. Suddenly, Saint Francis heard a deep angry growl and there was the savage beast before him. The wolf sprang at Saint Francis with his sharp white teeth gleaming and its eyes glaring wickedly. “Stop! In the name of Jesus, you shall not hurt me or anybody else!” Saint Francis commanded. As Saint Francis spoke, he made the Sign of the Cross over the wolf. The wolf stopped and closed its mouth. “Come here, Brother Wolf!” ordered Saint Francis. The wolf walked slowly up to Saint Francis and lay down at his feet. “Brother Wolf,” said Saint Francis, “You are bad, very, very bad. You have killed men and women made in the image and likeness of God. This is very wicked, Brother Wolf. You should be punished with death!” 5 The Wolf got to his feet and stood before Saint Francis with his head bowed in shame and his tail between his legs. “I shall not punish you,” Saint Francis continued. “I wish to make peace between you and the people of Gubbio. I want you to promise that you will never harm them again. Promise this and you shall always have enough to eat. Do you promise not to harm these people ever again?” The wolf wagged his tail and nodded his head to show that he promised and when Saint Francis held out his hand the Wolf placed his huge right paw in it. “Very well then,” said Saint Francis to him. “Now we will go into the town together and tell the people of your promise.” The men who had waited at the edge of the woods stared in wonder as Saint Francis and the Wolf walked towards them. They could hardly believe their eyes. Hurrying back to the town they told all the people who 6 had gathered there about the great news. Saint Francis addressed them. “My Brothers and Sisters of Gubbio, here is the Wolf you have feared so much. You need fear him no longer. He has promised not to harm you or any of your animals again, but you must feed him. He ate your cattle and killed some of your people because he was hungry. If you feed him he will no longer harm you.” Hearing this great news the people became very excited. “Yes, we will feed him! We will feed him!” they shouted joyfully. “We promise to feed him as long as he lives here.” Then Saint Francis spoke to the Wolf, “My Brother Wolf, show these people that you promise not to harm them.” Again the Wolf put his giant hairy paw into Saint Francis’ hand and the people were amazed. Saint Francis left the town of Gubbio a few days later, but the Wolf stayed. He lived there among the people until he died of old age. He always had enough food to eat and he never hurt anyone - man or beast again. He went about the town like a great big dog, playing with the children, protecting them from danger, and even letting the little ones ride on his back. When the Wolf died, all the people of Gubbio were very sad at the loss of their friend. He had reminded them of the good and holy Saint Francis who loved all God’s creatures great and small. 7 THE LITLE RED-BREASTED BIRDS (2Cel 47) One day after dinner Saint Francis was sitting at a table talking with his brothers. Two little robin red-breasts came up, one male and the other female. They had a family of newly-hatched nestlings to feed and they were looking for food to take home to their hungry babies. So they were glad that the br

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