Wednesday, September 17, 2003

Feast of the Imprinting of the Stigmata on St. Francis

"From henceforth let no man trouble me: for I bear in my body the marks of the Lord Jesus." -Paul's Letter to the Galatians 6:17

From CIN - St. Francis Receives the Stigmata:

"'O my God, Jesus Christ! On this Feast of the Holy Cross, I ask for two things before I die: that during my short life I may feel Your sufferings and Your love in my soul and in my body!'

Francis was kneeling outside his hut. His prayer quivered in the silence of the night. Dawn was near. It was bitingly cold, and the stars were shining brightly in the sky. And then, as the first glimmer of light appeared in the dark, what he had lived for all his life happened.

All of a sudden there was a dazzling light. It was as though the heavens were exploding and splashing forth all their glory in millions of waterfalls of colors and stars. And in the center of that bright whirlpool was a core of blinding light that flashed down from the depths of the sky with terrifying speed until suddenly it stopped, motionless and sacred, above a pointed rock in front of Francis. It was a fiery figure with wings, nailed to a cross of fire. Two flaming wings rose straight upward, two others opened out horizontally, and two more covered the figure. And the wounds in the hands and feet and heart were blazing rays of blood. The sparkling features of the Being wore an expression of supernatural beauty and grief.
It was the face of Jesus, and Jesus spoke.

Then suddenly streams of fire and blood shot from His wounds and pierced the hands and feet of Francis with nails and his heart with the stab of a lance. As Francis uttered a mighty shout of joy and pain, the fiery image impressed itself into his body, as into a mirrored reflection of itself, with all its love, its beauty, and its grief. And it vanished within him. Another cry pierced the air. Then, with nails and wounds through his body, and with his soul and spirit aflame, Francis sank down, unconscious, in his blood. "