Stigmata is a term used to describe body marks, sores, or the experience of pain in places that correspond to the crucifixion wounds of Jesus – the hands, wrists, and feet. St Francis is the first recorded stigmatic in Christian history.
It’s an incredible thing to imagine, and contemplate. Bearing this pain seems to have been a major cause of the decline in St Francis’ health at the end of his life. It is also presented as an honour, in recognition of St Francis’ desire to truly walk in Jesus’ footsteps.
I invite you to contemplate this painting; notice the individual figures in the picture, their expressions and where they are looking; what else draws your attention. Allow Jesus to reveal something special to you through this image.