The Morning Sermon on Saint Francis, 1267 - 758 

the greatest devotion to the incarnation and the cross of Christ. On account of his love of the cross, his skin became a dark reddish color, he was interiorly crucified and transformed into Christ. Because of his love of the Virgin's Son he was transformed, even while still alive, into the Crucified, by the Seraph with six wings that appeared to him. He was pierced with huge, strong nails, the points of which were bent over under the soles of his feet, and there was a wound in his side. In the words of the Song of Solomon he could say: You have wounded my heart. He was dark-skinned, which was accentuated because of his austerities. Yet at his death his flesh became radiant white and ruddy. He asked the brothers to let him lie naked on the ground, when he was dead, for the length of time it takes to walk a mile. With Saint Paul he could say: I have been crucified with Christ... Far be it from me to glory except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ.

It is evident then that Saint Francis was chosen by God. Let us ask God to hear our prayers.

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Francis of Assisi: Early Documents, vol. 2, p. 758