St Francis The San Damiano Crucifix

Francis while at San Damiano church and praying before the Crucifix, had a vision to rebuild the church. Francis took this to mean literally San Damiano church, he later realised it was the Church, not a single building, it was the people, starting with himself and his relationship with Jesus and taking on a life of poverty.

His initial response was to beg for stones to help restore San Damiano. He sold cloth from his father’s shop and his horse to fund the restoration and this ended in conflict with his father and the well-known story of the encounter of between Francis, his father and the local bishop. The bishop told Francis to return the money to which Francis did and then stripped off his clothes and said his only father now was God.


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San Damiano cross – creator of image unknown – Public domain