• 19 Apr 19

Apr 19 - “San Damiano Crucifix” © icon by Br. Robert Lentz, OFM.

After a pampered youth of wealth and luxury, St. Francis left everything behind in order to find himself and God.  He wandered alone through the forests and fields outside Assisi and spent hours in prayer in dilapidated country chapels.  As he prayed one day in the church of San Damiano, he saw the Christ on the cross above the alter come to life and heard the words, “Francis, go repair my house which as you see is falling into ruin.”  He interpreted the words literally and undertook the repair of the small church.  In time he came to realize that the message had a wider meaning: that he and his followers were to build up the lives of their fellow Christians, at a time when Christendom was experiencing moral decay.

The crucifix that spoke to St. Francis has been preserved as a precious relic and now hangs in the basilica of St. Clare in Assisi.  Millions of copies have been carried to all parts of the earth.  The original is faded and bears the ravages of time.  This modern copy attempts to restore the crucifix to its original joyful brilliance.