St. Francis and the single candle

“All the darkness in the world cannot extinguish the light from a single candle.” Attributed to St. Francis of Assisi.

  1. It doesn’t sound like him to me.
  2. It’s not listed at all on Wikiquote.
  3. An Internet search for it turns up a citation on Goodreads claiming that it’s from the Little Flowers, but I checked two different editions of the Little Flowers (EWTN and CCEL), and it’s not there.
  4. Google Books finds it in:
    • The Compassionate Life: Walking the Path of Kindness, where it’s an epitaph on a headstone, not attributed to St. Francis at all
    • A Dangerous Dozen, where it’s attributed to The Little Flowers without anything more precise (my guess is that this is where Goodreads got it)
    • Introduction to Computational Cultural Psychology (I am not making this up) where it’s called an “Hassidic proverb” and where this is added to it: “yet one candle can illuminate all the darkness.”
    • a bunch of other places that don’t look helpful.
  5. A search of CCEL for Francis single candle turned up 18 hits, none of them matching this quotation.

I’m calling this one fake unless someone in the comments can find an actual primary source.

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