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The Stigmata In the summer of 1924, while Francis was on Mount LaVerna where he was spending a forty day fast in honor of St. Michael, alone with God, Christ rewarded him with the greatest gift, the Stigmata, where his hands and feet were pierced and his side had a wound just like Jesus. While deep in prayer on the mountainside, Francis saw a Seraph with six fiery wings come down from the sky. He then saw Christ crucified among the wings. Francis was filled with both joy and sorrow. Joy for how Christ looked so lovingly at him and sorrow for how Jesus suffered. The vision disappeared and his heart was filled with great joy and love. It was then he saw the Stigmata on himself. Francis knew he was being rewarded with the Stigmata by God for his great love and tender devotion to Christ's passion by changing him into a "living image of Christ Crucified."

The Stigmata which Francis received "were Christ's seal of approval indicating Francis' perfect conformity to Christ Crucified. Francis always thought about and kept alive the memory in his heart of Christ being Crucified. So it was fitting at that point to bear the marks of "Christ's Passion." He had just been praying to Christ. He had asked for two graces before he died. One was to feel in his heart the pain and suffering Jesus felt when he was Crucified. The second was to feel the great love he had in his heart, to go through all the pain and suffering He died for all of us sinners. It was then he noticed the Stigmata. From that point on, Mount LaVerna would be known as the Franciscan Cavalry.

I think it was fitting for Francis to receive this Stigmata before he died. Since he truly wanted to feel the pain that Jesus felt when he was being crucified. I admire Francis for not only wanting to feel the pain Jesus endured, but to also ask to feel the same love in his heart that Jesus did for all people. He was truly sincere when asking for these two graces when he was praying on the mountain and that was probably not the first time he asked for this. God knew he was always feeling this was in his heart. That is why his prayers were answered immediately after he was done praying. Christ knew that he was deserving and gave him what he asked for. I think at first, Francis was really happy to just have the vision of Christ being crucified. But then when he received the Stigmata, his life was probably complete.

Deryl Murray Religion Father Damian December 11, 2001 The Manner of Working The Franciscan friars should work in a spirit of faith and be devoted to their work and they should not sit idle because idleness is the enemy of the soul. They should do this however without losing the spirit of prayer and devotion since God has given the friars the gift of the grace of working. In return for their work they should never accept money in any form. Instead they may receive anything necessary for their living needs for themselves or their fellow friars and they should accept it with great humility. They should not expect anything. This is what is expected by the people that serve God and who want to go after the highest form of poverty needed to survive.

The Franciscan friars attitude towards work is a lot different than lay people. The friars are working to just get the bare necessities to live with and never accepting money. While lay people work to make as much money as possible. The more money they make the more material things they can buy. Meanwhile, the Franciscans are only working for food, shelter and clothing none of these real extravagant. They truly strive to live a life of poverty as Jesus did while he was on this earth. Although I believe that the friars and lay people agree on something which is they should not sit idle. Even though they agree on this it is for different reasons. Friars believe this because idleness is the enemy of the soul. Lay people believe this because when they are idle they are not making any money and this means less material things. I also think it would be great for everyone to have the beliefs about work as the friars do especially about money. But the way the world is now I think that would be almost impossible to work without receiving money. Right now, you really do need to make a decent amount of money to just survive with your basic necessities.

Deryl Murray Religion Father Damian December 11, 2001 Christmas at Greccio Ever since Francis' visit to Bethlehem, his tender love for the Child Jesus was increasing. Christmas of 1223 was getting closer, he summoned for the Lord of Greccio, John Velita, and told him of his plan to portray Baby Jesus' birth. He wanted to see with his own eyes the discomfort he went through because he lacked the things a new born baby had. Francis felt that if he could see it he would be able to really feel these discomforts. He wanted John to set-up a grotto along with a manager, some straw, an ox and an ass.

As they prepared for that night, it was done with great joy, excitement. Friars and lay people came from great distances to join all the local people came from great distances to join all the local people. At the midnight Francis took part as the deacon and sang the gospel which was about the birth of Jesus. As he preached this gospel he referred to Jesus as the "Babe of Bethlehem."