About Franz Liszt's Two Legends
In this collection, Liszt depicts events in the life of two holy men. One of history’s most famous sermons is the one St. Francis gave to a flock of birds. One day while walking with some friends, Francis looked up and saw the trees full of birds. Francis “left his companions in the road and ran eagerly toward the birds" and "humbly begged them to listen to the word of God." Thomas of Celano records that the birds stretched their necks and extended their wings as Francis walked among them touching and blessing them. The second of Liszt’s Legends deals with St. Francis of Paola, who, lacking the fee to board a ferry to cross the Straits of Messina, uses his cloak and staff as a makeshift sailing apparatus, crossing the waters and arriving ahead of the boat and its astonished passengers.