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San Damiano, Assisi

San Damiano (built in the 12th century) was the first monastery of the Order of Saint Clare, where Saint Clare built her community.

It was here that St Francis encountered Christ. In 1205 he had been praying at San Damiano which at the time was a very run down building. From the San Damiano crucifix the figure of Christ said to him, “Francis, don’t you see my house is falling in ruins? Go, then, and repair it!” Afterwards Saint Francis took action to repair San Damiano, although he eventually realized that God’s message to him was to restore the Church as a whole rather than literally repair churches such as San Damiano. The San Damiano crucifix currently hangs in the Basilica di Santa Chiara (Basilica of Saint Clare) in Assisi.

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