«One day while beatified Francis was crossing the lake of Rieti on a small boat heading for the hermitage of Greccio, a fisherman gave him a lake bird to offer to the Lord. The Blessed Father took it happily and gently invited it to fly away. It did not want to go and settled down in his hands as if in a nest. The Saint then looked up at the sky and remained for a long time in prayer. After a long while, he came out of his ecstasy and lovingly commanded the bird to return to freedom as before without fear. Having received permission with his blessing, the bird joyfully flapped its wings and flew away freely. Another time, on the same lake, he was on a small boat and once at the port he was offered a large fish which was still alive. Calling it brother, as was his custom, he put it back into the water near the boat. But the fish played around in the water near the Saint who praised Christ the Lord with joy. The fish did not swim away until the Saint commanded it to do so».
The Water festival at Piediluco and the Celebration of Saint Giovanni Battista at Arrone are all that is left of an ancient tradition of summer solstice festivities, probably once related to age-old cults and holy places linked to the waters around the lake such as the temple of the god Neptune at Marmore
Piediluco Lake – Terni – Umbria – Italy
Miracoli sul lago, tratto da Tommaso Da Celano.
Tommaso Da Celano: Vita prima, Capitolo xxi, 61: Cum enim tempore quodam in lacu Reatino iuxta quemdam portum in navicula resideret, piscator quidam piscem magnum capiens, qui vulgo dicitur tinca, illum devotus obtulit ei. Qui eum hilariter et benigne suscipiens, fraterno nomine ipsum vocare coepit, et extra naviculam eum in aqua reponens, coepit devotus benedicere nomen Domini. Sicque aliquamdiu, dum in oratione persisteret, dictus piscis iuxta naviculam ludens in aqua, non recedebat de loco, in quo eum posuerat, donec, oratione completa, sanctus Dei recedendi sibi licentiam exhiberet.