“An exaggeratedly great love": Dialogue with Brother Francesco Patton, Custos of the Holy Land

The Stigmata of St Francis

On 17 September, the Church and the Franciscan world celebrate the feast of the Impression of the Stigmata of St Francis.

"An Exaggeratedly Great Love" is the theme of the Dialogue with Brother Francesco Patton, Custos of the Holy Land, on the Stigmata of St Francis.

Br FRANCESCO PATTON, OFM
Custos of the Holy Land
"The Stigmata are the wounds of Jesus. St Francis received them on the Mount of La Verna.The biographers say that it was on the approach of the feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross, the night between 13th and 14th September. What St. Francis received were not simply the signs of the Passion. According to the biographers' account and according to the collection of the first witnesses, including Brother Elias, who immediately after the death of St. Francis wrote a letter to testify to this miracle of the Stigmata. In the hands and feet of St. Francis nails are formed, a biographer says that it seems to have a dark black head and you can see the nail hammered in. In addition to the hands and feet, St. Francis begins to have this wound in the side that periodically bleeds."

Br FRANCESCO PATTON, OFM
Custos of the Holy Land
"In fact, one of the authors, St. Bonaventure, who also makes a theological reflection on the Stigmata, will say that when Francis descended from the Mount of Verna, he brought with him the image of Christ Crucified. Not carved by the hand of man or painted by the hand of man or on the wooden table or on the stone table, but painted in his flesh by the finger of the living God. The finger of the living God is the Holy Spirit."

Br FRANCESCO PATTON, OFM
Custos of the Holy Land
"Let us never forget that what appears to St Francis on La Verna is a beautiful Seraphim and Crucified. Therefore a reality of God that appears both in His beauty, luminosity and transcendence and in His having become close to us. In the words of St Paul, an obedient servant to the point of death and death on a cross. If we want to go in the opposite direction, a crucifix that shows us that behind the crucifix there is the Seraphim. Behind the crucifix there is the transformation of man into light, into fire, into beauty. We can see God's approach to the Cross and we can also see what the Cross makes us experience by projecting us into the very life of God."

Br FRANCESCO PATTON, OFM
Custos of the Holy Land
"La Verna is a sanctuary and one of the most important Franciscan sanctuaries because it bears the memory of the Stigmata. And we manage to let ourselves be transformed by all this in order to resemble Jesus. We learn not to be narcissists who seek their own image in the mirror. We learn to be disciples who seek to be reflected in Jesus, in Jesus crucified. In Jesus who gives his life for us and who is also the Risen Jesus who leads us to live the very life of God. Happy Feast of the Stigmata."

The full programme is available on the Christian Media Center website.\

 

Christian Media Center