Francis and the San Damiano Cross

This blog continues our Lent 2021 series of reflections on the Franciscan Intellectual-Spiritual Tradition by a variety of women and men Franciscans.

It might be in the church or the chapel or the entrance area or the dining room. If you are at a Franciscan place, sooner or later you are very likely to encounter a San Damiano cross. In both a technical and a popular sense, this cross can be called a Franciscan icon. In the technical sense, it is a product of Eastern Christian theology and spirituality. In a popular sense, it is a symbol of the conversion of Francis and of his mission in the Church. 

“Repair my house”

Near the beginning of his conversion, Saint Francis used to pray in the small chapel of San Damiano, a short distance down the hill from Assisi. One day, according to the sources, Christ spoke to Francis

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