From the beginning of his conversion, our holy Father Francis had a very great devotion and veneration for Christ crucified. He never ceased to preach this devotion until his death. In the year 1224, as he was rapt in deep contemplation, St. Francis received the stigmata. This event was attested by reliable witnesses and Pope Benedict XI permitted the Franciscan Order to celebrate annually this extraordinary event on September 17th.
Jesus said to all:
"If anyone wishes to come after me, he must deny himself
and take up his cross daily and follow me.
For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it,
but whoever loses his life for my sake will save it.
What profit is there for one to gain the whole world
yet lose or forfeit himself?
Whoever is ashamed of me and of my words,
the Son of Man will be ashamed of
when he comes in his glory
and in the glory of the Father and of the holy angels."