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Francis before the Sultan challenges his priests to a test of fire to prove which is the true faith
Although a cruel edict had been issued by the Sultan that whoever brought back the head of a Christian would be rewarded with a gold piece, Francis taking a companion with him decided to make the journey. After they had been maltreated in many ways, by divine providence they were led to the Sultan as the man of God had hoped. When that ruler inquired by whom, why, and how they had been sent and got there, Francis answered with an intrepid heart that he had been sent not by man but by the Most High God in order to point out to him and his people the way of salvation and to annouce the Gospel of truth. The Sultan, perceiving in the man of God a fervour of spirit and a courage that had to be admired, willingly listened to him and invited him to stay longer with him. Francis urged the Sultan to have an enormous fire lit and offered to walk into it with his Moslem priests to test which of them preached the truth. The Sultan replied that he did not dare to accept this choice and offered Francis many precious gifts which the man of God spurned as if they were dirt. This aroused the admiration and respect of the Sultan all the more, so that he allowed Francis to go back safely to his own country.
St. Bonaventure's Major Legend of Saint Francis, (Cf. ED vII LMj IX:7-8 page 602)
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SECULAR FRANCISCAN ORDER (OFS)
Saint Francis of Assisi left us "a Dream to dream and a Journey to challenge everyone". All Franciscans are inspired by him to follow Christ. The Secular Franciscan Order belongs to this family. In their secular state, members permanently commit themselves to live the Gospel as Francis did, following his Rule approved by the Pope. The OFS is open to the laity and diocesan clergy.
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