From Victor Kuligin’s Ten Things I Wish Jesus Never Said:
“[C]onsider the example of St. Francis of Assisi (1182-1226), founder of the Franciscan order of begging monks. Brother Angelo had become the guardian of the Convent of Monte Casale at a time when three famous robbers wreaked havoc in that part of the Italian countryside. One day the robbers came to the convent and asked Brother Angelo for something to eat. Angelo chastised them for their evil ways and refused them food. ‘You are not worthy of the earth which bears you, for you neither respect man nor the Lord who made you. Go about your business, and do not appear here again.’
“Shortly after, St. Francis arrived at the convent with a sack of bread and a little vessel of wine, and Angelo related to him how he had sent away the robbers. Francis reproved him sharply, saying Angelo himself had behaved cruelly, for sinners are brought back to God more easily by kindness than by harsh words. Francis commanded Angelo to go look for the men and give them the food that had been donated to Francis. While Angelo did this, Francis prayed that God would touch the hearts of the robbers and bring them to repentance.
“The men were cut to the quick by the kindness shown them, to the point that they returned to the convent and submitted themselves to Francis. All three became members of the Order, serving until their deaths” (234-235).