Saturday, February 05, 2011
The San Damiano Cross hangs in the Basilica of St. Clare of Assisi in Italy
Francis was walking one day near the church of St. Damian, which had nearly fallen to ruin and was abandoned by everyone. Led by the Spirit, he went in and fell down before the crucifix in devout and humble supplication; and smitten by unusual visitations, he found himself other than he had been when he entered. While he was thus affected, something unheard of before happened to him: the painted image of Christ crucified moved its lips and spoke. Calling him by name it said, "Francis, go, repair my house, which, as you see, is falling completely to ruin." Fraom then on compassion for the crucified was rooted in his holy soul, and, as it can be piously supposed, the stigmata of the venerable passion were deeply imprinted on his heart, though not yet upon his flesh.
Saint Francis of Assisi
Celano, Second Life