Fire for a World Grown Cold

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17. San Francesco riceve le stimmate.jpg

Never underestimate the effect of an image on the memory and imagination of a little child. An image of the stigmata of Saint Francis of Assisi profoundly marked my childhood. Shining with jewel-like colors, a window depicting the impression of the stigmata illuminated the south transept of my beautiful parish church, named for Saint Francis, in New Haven, Connecticut. I only regret that I don't have a photo of that stained-glass window. Later on, in my Daily Missal I discovered the Collect for the Commemoration of the Holy Stigmata celebrated on September 17th. It remains, to this day, a prayer that speaks to my heart.

Lord Jesus Christ,
who didst reproduce,
in the flesh of the most blessed Francis,
the sacred marks of thy own sufferings,
so that in a world grown cold
our hearts might be filled with burning love of thee,
graciously enable us by his merits and prayers
to bear the cross without faltering
and to bring forth worthy fruits of penitence:
Thou who art God,
living and reigning with God the Father,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
for ever and ever.

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About Dom Mark

Dom Mark Daniel Kirby is Conventual Prior of Silverstream Priory in Stamullen, County Meath, Ireland. The ecclesial mandate of his Benedictine community is the adoration of the Most Holy Sacrament of the Altar in a spirit of reparation, and in intercession for the sanctification of priests.

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