Feast of the Stigmata of Saint Francis

On September 17, Franciscans celebrate the Feast of the Stigmata of St. Francis, to recall Francis's body being marked with the wounds of Christ.

What happened in LaVerna?

A modern biographer, Andre Vauchez, says: "What happened on La Verna on an undetermined day in September 1224?. . . It is difficult to say with any precision, as Francis [himself] 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. It is thus only after his death and before his burial that a certain number of witnesses were able to actually see them on his flesh."

Stigmata El Greco 700pxlsSt. Francis Receiving the Stigmata, El Greco (1586-1600, Walters Art Gallery, Baltimore. El Greco was a Secular Franciscan and the Stigmata one of his favorite subjects.

Francis identifies with the suffering Christ

Whatever the source of the physical wounds,

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