In the Sanctuary of Della Verna, there is a chapel known as the chapel of the cross at the end of the stigmata corridor. This chapel was built in the place where, according to tradition, was the little cabin that Francis inhabited. It is also known as “the second cell of Saint Francis”. Various miracles took place in this cabin, all narrated by the oldest sources of the Franciscan tradition.
It is very likely that right there Francis composed the Praises of the Most High God and the Blessing for Brother Leo.
The chapel of the Cross was built at the end of the thirteenth century, simultaneously with the stigma chapel, but underwent several transformations over the centuries. There you can see an expressive image of St Francis with an open book and a hawk by his side, the work of Juan Collina Graziani (1887).
On the door that gives access to the stigma chapel there is a marble bas-relief that represents the impression of the sores. It was carried out at the end of the 13th century and from 1529 to 1924 it occupied the central site of the stigma chapel, where, according to tradition, the phenomenon of stigma occurred. Careful observation allows you to see the footprints produced by the coins that the devotees dropped.
Brother Leo accompanied St Francis on Mount Della Verna when he received the stigmata, leaving a clear and simple account of the miracle.
The blessing of Saint Francis, also known as the autograph to Brother Leon, given and received in the current Shrine of Della Verna, as a talisman against temptation, and which is still preserved in St Francis in Assisi.
It also includes the text of a letter written by the saint to Leon, a few words of tender encouragement and advice for the “Frate Pecorello di Dio” (little brother sheep of God) as the Saint had named his faithful disciple because of his simplicity and tenderness.
“May the Lord bless thee and keep thee.
May He shew His face to thee and have mercy on thee.
May He turn His countenance to thee and give thee peace.
May the Lord bless thee, brother Leo”.