Sacred Stigmata of St. Francis
Peter Paul Rubens
Today I think it is pretty much only Franciscans who celebrate this feast, and maybe Traditionalists. When I was little it was allowed universally - I think - at least it was included in my daily missal. Of course, the event was recalled in art and literature as well. Images as shown above inflamed my heart with devotion and attracted me to prayer, while piquing my interest in religious life. What developed has been a lifelong devotion to St. Francis, whose intercession I ask today, that love may once again inflame my heart and purify my conscience.
O Lord Jesus Christ, Who when the world was growing cold, in order that the hearts of men might burn anew with the fire of Your love, did in the flesh of the most blessed Francis reproduce the stigmata of Your passion: be mindful of his merits and prayers; and in Your mercy vouchsafe to us the grace ever to carry Your cross, and to bring forth worthy fruits of penance. Amen.
"If you now yearn to know how that happens (mystical communion with God), ask grace, not doctrine; desire, not the intellect; the groaning of prayer, not the study of the letter; the spouse, not the teacher; God, not man; darkness not clarity; not light but the fire that inflames everything and transport to God with strong unctions and ardent affections. ... We enter therefore into darkness, we silence worries, the passions and illusions; we pass with Christ Crucified from this world to the Father, so that, after having seen him, we say with Philip: that is enough for me" (Ibid., VII, 6). - Taken from Idle Speculations