The Dedication of the San Damiano Cross

     As a young man in 1206, Francis Bernardone would often pray before the cross in a decrepit chapel on a hillside in Assisi. The Byzantine-style cross dates back to 1100 and the artist is unknown. He would pray in the chapel as he sought to find more meaning than what he found in the lavish lifestyle of his wealthy family. It was in the chapel before the San Daminao cross when he heard God say, “Francis, don’t you see that my house is being destroyed? Go, then, and rebuild it for me.”
     The mosaic of the cross was dedicated at St. Francis of Assisi Church, Hoboken, on Christmas Eve 2018 as part of the vision of Fr. Chris to restore Franciscan elements to our parish altar. The cross is an essential element in the conversion of Francis in the service of Christ. “The San Damiano cross is a beautiful and meaningful addition to our most blessed altar,” said Fr. Chris. “The cross is rich in history and symbolism and represents the life and legacy of St. Francis. We thought it was an appropriate time to re-establish the heritage of our patron saint to foster our love of and service to Jesus.”
     The cross is rich in symbolism and we have deconstructed the various parts of the cross to help understand what the various images and artistic style represent.