The San Damiano crucifix is a religious icon in the Catholic tradition, which depicts the crucified Jesus Christ. It is named after the Church of San Damiano, which is located in Assisi, Italy.
The San Damiano crucifix is particularly significant because of its association with the life of St. Francis of Assisi, who received a vision of the crucifix while he was praying in the dilapidated church of San Damiano. As Francis was praying before the crucifix, he heard the voice of Jesus telling him, “Francis, go and repair my house which, as you see, is falling into ruins.” This experience inspired Francis to devote his life to the service of God and to rebuild the Church.
The San Damiano crucifix itself is a large, painted wooden cross, with a painted image of Christ. The figure of Jesus is depicted as alive, with His eyes open and His head up, rather than in the typical depiction of Christ on the cross with His eyes closed and head resting. The figure of Jesus is surrounded by various other figures, including Mary, the Mother of Jesus, and various saints.
The San Damiano crucifix is a beloved symbol of our faith and has been reproduced in many forms, including in artwork, jewellery, and other decorative items. It continues to inspire Christians around the world with its powerful message of love, sacrifice, and redemption.