"According to his biographers, St. Francis of Assisi had a particularly poignant encounter with a leper. Nikos Kazantsakis, in his book “Saint Francis,” adds color to the facts.
"As Kazantzakis tells it, Francis feared lepers. Walking toward Ravenna, Francis and a companion heard a bell warning that a leper was approaching. Francis turned white and froze; a shudder ran down his body. Then Francis darted down the road, threw himself upon the startled leper, embraced him and kissed him on the mouth. He then covered the leper with his own cloak and began walking with him.
Later, when the city gates loomed, Francis went to pull back the leper’s cloak . . . and the man had disappeared."
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