San Francesco a S. Damiano


The Crucifix

It was here, still wandering restlessly in the crisis that marked the end of  his worldly aspirations whether in commerce, civil, courtly, knightly or on the crusades, that Francis arrived as a supplicant in search of  sense and illumination, carrying a prayer in his heart: O Most High and glorious God, enlighten my heart!
 


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The Window

It was here that he lived out the drama of the breakup with his father which culminated in his epic appearance before the bishop, Guido – where he gave back to his father even the clothes he was wearing. From now on, I will no longer call Pietro di Bernardone, my father, but only Our Father who art in heaven.
 


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The Canticle of Creatures

But above all it was here in the Winter of 1225/ Spring of 1226 that Francis – by now infirm, crucified with the stigmata, his sick eyes no longer being able to support the light of the sun or even fire and being tormented by rats in the place where he slept – stayed for 50 days or more in a makeshift cell of mats in a corner of that house. After a troubled yet exultant night, he rose in the morning to glorify his Lord who had assured him of his salvation, and he baptized the Italian common language by composing and singing the Praises of all creatures, the canticle of Brother Sun, the canticle of redeemed Creation and universal brotherhood.
 It is indeed truly in this place that the Canticle was Born.
 


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The Grate

In front of, and through this grate, Francis and the other friars used to provide the Poor Ladies the spiritual sustenance of the Word of God.

Through this grate the last act of Francis on this earth was played out. His body, bearing the stigmata, was shown to the Poor Ladies, on the morning of 4 October 1226. The grate was unhinged and Clare and her sisters could have their Father amongst them for their veneration and mourning: the Father that no longer speaks to them, and will not return again


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