3024. You have to put yourself in Faldoni’s shoes for a moment in order to comprehend the problem that confronted him on the first day of Lent, in the year of Our Lord, 1292, or thereabouts. The first question that perplexed him was the same as you or I would have to answer. The question was, “If I have 40 days to live, what should I do? Or would it be best to do nothing at all since anything I start is likely to remain unfinished when Easter arrives.”
Faldoni could neither read or write, so on the afternoon of the first
day of Lent he decided that what he wanted to do was learn to write, and
then, with that accomplished he planned to write a letter to the judges
hoping to explain himself to them in detail.
He had no idea what it was he wanted to say to his judges, but he was
sure that consideration would be resolved as soon as he mastered the
problem of how to write things down on paper.
3027. Faldoni had one book, it was not the Bible, as you would expect, but a work in Latin. It might have been a religious meditation of some sort but was missing its cover and the first and last pages. Faldoni asked the Jailer if he could read and write, and if he could possibly help him with his urgent task of learning to read. He was hoping to be able to accomplish this project in a few weeks.