In 1224 Francis of Assisi was on retreat on Mount Alverna with his companion Thomas of Celano: Thomas reported that Francis saw a vision of a seraph with his arms outspread and feet together, in the shape of a cross, and while contemplating it marks appeared like those of Christ at his Crucifixion, on his hands, feet, and side, where they remained until his death two years later. The building in the background of the miniature is perhaps intended to represent the chapel of the Portiuncula, where the Franciscan order was founded, or Francis’s church at Assisi itself.
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