Darkness, Candles, and Things Unsaid

Easter Vigil at Sacred HeartI am always amazed at the sayings that are attributed to St. Francis of Assisi.  Today, I was asked if the following saying was from Francis: “All the darkness in the world cannot extinguish the light of a single candle.”  Nice, but at first blush it does not possess the language or sense of language for which Francis is known. The language is not even particularly medieval, but then maybe this is just a modernized version of the saint’s words.

If you search the internet, you will find this “quote” has pretty wide distribution and uniform attributed to St. Francis.  Most have no citation; but some do.  The only source given was “The Little Flowers of St. Francis.”  You can find the Little Flowers in volume 3 (pp. 566-658) of Francis of Assisi: Early Documents  –  Armstrong, Regis, J.A. Wayne Hellmann, and William Short, eds. (New York: New City Press, 1999–2004).

What you can’t find is the quote, or an account for which the quote could be a reduction. I could be wrong.  If someone has the specific citation (text and chapter) that would be an interesting thing to know.   I know I should just let these things go, but…. let the saint speak for himself … I’m just saying.

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