The legend of Anima Mundi

After the fall of the Roman Empire, the Lango Bards (long beards), a fierce tribe from North Germany, invaded Italy and established a mosaic of truculent dukedoms, one of which, Spoletium, was eventually ruled by Faroaldo, a "genetically modified" barbarian, who spoke with the birds and the bees and who began having recurrent dreams, sent to him by Lazarus, the last surviving "pillar saint" from Syria, now living up in Mons Loucom (Monteluco) above Spoletium. But when Faroaldo went to seek him out, Lazarus rejected him, brusquely, leaving Faroaldo to ride in the countryside, perplexed. "Why does he call me and then cast me out!"  One day, as he rode in the hills, north west of Spoleto, an olive tree burst into flames - "but without consuming itself" - and an angel spoke to him and told him to follow his dream and to tell Lazarus that the angel had sent him and to go light the flame of the soul of the world. This was in 721 AD; now, one thousand three hundred years later, the flame is still being guarded, in a Valnerina Abbey, by Teresa Nardini, the last in a line of fireminders. "These are the things we say. These are the things we do." said Teresa. 

"While the flame still flickers, there is hope in the world" said the angel.