The San Damiano Crucifix
22 inches x 16 inches:  (55 x 41 cm)

Saint Francis of Assisi

Saint Francis was from a wealthy merchant family in Umbria, Italy.  He was a musician with a generous spirit.   After a time as a soldier and a year as a prisoner of war, he became more attuned to the suffering  of others. 

He often prayed in the small dilapidated church of  San Damiano  just outside the walls of the city of Assisi.  In the church was a painted, Byzantine Cross.  One day  while in prayer, St. Frances heard the image of Christ speak to him, saying "rebuild my church."   Francis took this message literally and did rebuild this church which is still occupied by Franciscan Friars.

Later he realized that his mission was to rebuild the Church universal  which had fallen into disrepair.  His work and preaching touched many and St. Francis is known throughout the world for his love of God, man, and all creatures .   It is the Church at large, that Francis and his followers are meant to 'rebuild' and renew.

The San Damiano Crucifix  is an icon cross because it contains images of people who were close to Christ in life. The largest figures near Christ are Mary, the mother of Jesus, St. John, Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James and the Centurion who expressed belief in Christ.
The original cross now hangs in  the Church of St.Clare in Assisi, Italy.  

Read  more details of the life of Francis and the Crucifix: