The Fall of Brother Justin

The widely-known Franciscan, Brother Justin, entered the Order of St. Francis, after refusing great favors and most honorable offices, which the King of Hungary offered him. He then advanced so far in religion, that he had frequent ecstasies.

One day, while dining at the table in the monastery, he was raised in the air, and carried over the heads of the Religious, to pray before a picture of the Virgin, which was painted high on the wall. On account of this wonder, Pope Eugenius IV sent for him and embraced him, not allowing him to kiss his feet; then, seating him by his side, he had a long conversation with him, and gave him many presents and indulgences.

This favor made him vain, and St. John Capestran meeting him on his return, said: “Alas! thou didst go forth an angel, and thou art come back a demon!” In fact, increasing every day in insolence, he killed a monk with a knife. After a term of imprisonment, he escaped into the kingdom of Naples, where he committed many crimes, and finally died in prison.

Text from A Year With the Saints (New York: P.J. Kenedy & Sons, 1891).

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