|Francis drying his diseased eyes|
Thomas of Celano, an early follower, tells us that Saint Francis suffered increasingly from a disease of the eyes that left him blind. All light became unbearable as the disease progressed, such that Francis eventually had to cover his face with a cloth to shield his eyes against the daylight.
For treatment he made a difficult trip to Rieti in 1225, stopping for a while at San Damiano in Assisi. There he was troubled, night and day, by hordes of mice. In this miserable condition Francis turned to God with prayer:
I thank you, Lord God,
for all my pains;
if it pleases you, O Lord,
increase them a hundredfold.
I shall thankfully accept
whatever sorrow you give,
not sparing me;
for in the fulfillment of your will
I find my greatest solace.
Jesus, falling beneath the cross without curses or complaint. Blind Francis at prayer, troubled by mice and blindness. Me in the today's struggles, pressures and inconveniences.
Our Father Who Art in Heaven...
Hail Mary full of grace...
Glory be to the Father...