Story 44

December 14, 2020

The friar who speaks in today’s story, who has come to visit Madame de Sedan to collect the pig she donates to the Franciscans each year, is so forthright about his order—explaining that it is based on women’s foolishness and that “so long as there exist foolish or stupid women in the world, we shall not die of hunger!”—that Monsieur de Sedan gives him not one pig, but two!

After hearing this tale from Nomerfide, Parlamente observes that many women are deceived by the sermons they hear into giving alms, demonstrating conspicuous piety by “[wearing] rosaries with little death’s heads dangling from them,” and trusting in Franciscans’ saintly appearances. She offers, along with Oisille, guidance for distinguishing good preachers from hypocritical ones, ultimately affirming that Holy Scripture is “the only true touchstone by which one can know whether one is hearing truth or falsehood.” Fortunately for them, our storytellers are getting a good dose of Scripture every day in their lessons with Oisille—although we are not privy to their morning lessons, only to their afternoon stories!

Maria Colino shows how the Franciscan’s honesty prompts different reactions from Madame and Monsieur de Sedan, as Madame flies into a rage, her cheeks flushed with fury, while Monsieur smiles and offers the friar a second pig.

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