Wednesday September 17 Feast of Saint Francis' Stigmata


Today the Franciscan family celebrates the Feast of the Stigmata of St. Francis, recalling the marvelous union of Francis with his crucified Lord through his own personal passion, which left the marks of Christ's own wounds on his body. As a modern biographer, Andre Vauchez, says: "What happened on LaVerna on an undetermined day in September 1224? It is difficult to say with any precision, as Fran...cis did not mention it in his writings, and he forbade from speaking about it those rare persons who came to observe the traces of the wounds." The main witness of these events, Brother Leo, later said simply: "The blessed Francis spent forty days on Mount LaVerna, and the Lord's hand was upon him. But after the vision of the Seraph and the impression of Christ's stigmata on his body, he composed these praises, thanking God for the kindness bestowed upon him":

"You are the holy Lord God, Who does wonderful things!

You are strong. You are great. You are the Most High.
You are the almighty king. You, holy Father,
King of heaven and earth.

You are Three and One, the Lord God of gods.
You are the good, all good, the highest good,
Lord God living and true.

You are love, charity; You are wisdom, You are humility,
You are patience, You are beauty, You are meekness,
You are security, You are rest,
You are gladness and joy, You are our hope, You are justice,
You are moderation, You are all our riches to sufficiency.

You are beauty, You are meekness,
You are the protector, You are our custodian and defender,
You are strength, You are refreshment, You are our hope,
You are our faith, You are our charity,
You are all our sweetness, You are our eternal life,
Great and wonderful Lord, Almighty God, Merciful Savior."

May we experience the overwhelming love of God as did Francis!

The image is by Giotto, composed about 1250, and is presently housed in the Louvre, Paris.