Frans Pourbus the Younger (Antwerp 1569-1622 Paris), Saint Francis of Assisi receiving the Stigmata, 1620, Louvre Museum
Feast of the Stigmatization of St. Francis of Assisi
Feast Day – September 17
Saint Francis imitated Christ so perfectly that towards the end of his life our Lord wished to point him out to the world as the faithful imitator of the Crucified, by imprinting His five wounds upon his body.
Two years before his death, when, according to his custom, Saint Francis had repaired to Mt La Verna to spend the 40 days preceding the feast of St. Michael the Archangel in prayer and fasting, and there this wonderful event took place. St Bonaventure gives the following account of it:
"Francis was raised to God in the ardor of his seraphic love, wholly transformed by sweet compassion into Him, who, of His exceeding charity, was pleased to be crucified for us.
On the morning of the feast of the Exultation of the Holy Cross, as he was praying in a secret and solitary place on the mountain, Saint Francis beheld a seraph with six wings all afire, descending to him from the heights of heaven. As the seraph flew with great swiftness towards the man of God, there appeared amid the wings the form of one crucified, with his hands and feet stretched out and fixed to the cross. Two wings rose above the head, two were stretched forth in flight, and two veiled the whole body.
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