In the Rule, commanded by St. Francis of Assisi, the friars were to welcome all visitors, "including thieves and robbers." Now about the year 1213, Brother Angelo Tarlati, who was a former knight, was living at the hermitage of Monte Casale. As a porter, he one day received a visit from robbers. He gave them a very poor reception.
"What? Murderers like you? Not satisfied with robbing honest folk of the fruit of their toil, you want to take the little belonging from God's servants! You who have no respect for God or man and don't deserve that the earth should hold you! Get out of here, and don't let me see you again!"
When St. Francis returned, laden down with bread and wine which he had collected as alms. Learning what had happened he approached Brother Angelo, "You have behaved like a man with no religion! Does not the Gospel which we have promised to follow declare that it is the sick and not the well who need the doctor? Take this bread and wine in the name of obedience, and go and find those robbers! As soon as you seen them, shout, "Come, brother robbers! Come and eat the good things Brother Francis begs you to accept!
"And they will come. Then spread a cloth on the ground and put this bread and this wine on it, to which you will add some eggs and cheese. And serve these unfortunate men with humility and good humor until they are satisfied. Then, and not until then, ask them not to kill anybody any more, adding that serving God is not nearly so hard as their profession. And I do not doubt that the Lord in His mercy will inspire them with better sentiments."
Nor was their conversion long delayed. They were to be seen every day at the hermitage, bringing on their backs the firewood needed by the friars. And not only did they pledge themselves to gain their living from then on by honest toil, but all three ended up by entering the Order, in which they died the death of saints.
The growing brotherhood excluded no one; and like our Lord, Francis received sinners gladly.
Source: St. Francis of Assisi: A Biography by Omer Englebert