(On the occasion of your stigmata),
why a seraph
why its six
the dying Christ.
you could ask
those lonely hills
I cannot say
why love and pain
go hand in hand,
I will not
that day of joy
From one unpierced
~ A poem by Abigail Carroll
How did St. Francis of Assisi receives the Stigmata of Christ?
According to the Catholic Encyclopedia:
It was on or about the feast of the Exaltation of the Cross (14 September 1224) while praying on the mountainside, that he beheld the marvelous vision of the seraph, as a sequel of which there appeared on his body the visible marks of the five wounds of the Crucified which, says and early writer, had long since been impressed upon his heart.
Brother Leo, who was with St. Francis when he received the stigmata, has left us in his note to the saint’s autograph blessing, preserved at Assisi, a clear simple account of the miracle, which for the rest is better attested than any other historical fact.
The saint’s right side is described as bearing an open wound which looked as if made by a lance, while through his hands and feet were black nails of flesh, the points of which were bent backward.
After the reception of the stigmata, Francis suffered increasing pains throughout his frail body, already broken by continual mortification. Worn out, moreover, as Francis now was by eighteen years of unremitting toil, his strength gave way completely, and at times his eyesight so far failed him that he was almost wholly blind.
Francis died in 1226 at the age of forty-five. He was canonized in 1228 by Pope Gregory IX.