Ave Maria Meditations
St. Francis of Assisi, after spending many nights in prayer on the mountain, offered one final prayer. “My Lord Jesus Christ, I pray You to grant me two graces before I die: the first is that during my life I may feel in my soul and in my body, as much as possible, that pain which You, dear Jesus, sustained in the hour of Your most bitter Passion. The second is that I may feel in my heart, as much as possible, that excessive love with which You, O Son of God, were inflamed in willingly enduring such suffering for us sinners.”
Praying for many hours afterwards, he suddenly saw a Seraph coming down from Heaven with six flaming and glorious wings. It came close to St. Francis so he could see him up close. When the Seraph did this, St. Francis noticed the image of a crucified man. In those moments, he experienced what Christ thought, felt and experienced during the crucifixion and he felt profound grief for His suffering.
And in an instant, the Seraph struck St. Francis and he was immediately imprinted with the stigmata, the wounds of Christ. The light from the vision was said to be so bright that many people saw Mount Alverna aglow most of the night.