Seraphim

Saint_Francis_of_Assisi_Receiving_the_Stigmata_(Turin)_Seraph-Christ

Faciente ipso moram in eremitorio, quod a loco in quo positum est Alverna nominatur, duobus annis antequam animam redderet caelo, vidit in visione Dei virum unum, quasi Seraphim sex alas habentem, stantem supra se, manibus extensis ac pedibus coniunctis, cruci affixum. duae alae supra caput elevabantur, duae ad volandum extendebantur, duae denique totum velabant corpus. cumque ista videret beatus servus Altissimi, admiratione permaxima replebatur, sed quid sibi vellet haec visio advertere nesciebat. gaudebat quoque plurimum et vehementius laetabatur in benigno et gratioso respectu, quo a Seraphim conspici se videbat, cuius pulchritudo inaestimabilis erat nimis, sed omnino ipsum crucis affixio et passionis illius acerbitas deterrebat. sicque surrexit, ut ita dicatur, tristis et laetus, et gaudium atque maeror suas in ipso alternabant vices. cogitabat sollicitus, quid posset haec visio designare, et ad capiendum ex ea intelligentiae sensum anxiabatur plurimum spiritus eius. cumque liquido ex ea intellectu aliquid non perciperet et multum eius cordi visionis huius novitas insideret, coeperunt in manibus eius et pedibus apparere signa clavorum, quemadmodum paulo ante virum supra se viderat crucifixum. manus et pedes eius in ipso medio clavis confixae videbantur, clavorum capitibus in interiore parte manuum et superiore pedum apparentibus, et eorum acuminibus exsistentibus ex adverso. erant enim signa illa rotunda interius in manibus, exterius autem oblonga, et caruncula quaedam apparebat quasi summitas clavorum retorta et repercussa, quae carnem reliquam excedebat. sic et in pedibus impressa erant signa clavorum et a carne reliqua elevata. dextrum quoque latus quasi lancea transfixum, cicatrice obducta, erat, quod saepe sanguinem emittebat, ita ut tunica eius cum femoralibus multoties respergeretur sanguine sacro.
(Thomas of Celano, Vita Prima S. Francisci 94.1-95.4)

While he dwelt in the hermitage which, from the place in which it is situate, is called Alverna, two years before he gave back his soul to Heaven, he saw in a vision of God a man like a seraph having six wings, standing over him with hands outstretched and feet joined together, fixed to a cross. Two wings were raised above his head, two were spread out for flight, and two veiled the whole body. Now, when the blessed servant of the Most High saw this, he was filled with exceeding great wonder, but he could not understand what this vision might mean. Yet he rejoiced greatly and was filled with vehement delight at the benign and gracious look wherewith he saw that he was regarded by the seraph, whose beauty far exceeded all estimation ; but the crucifixion, and the bitterness of the seraph’s suffering smote him altogether with fear. Thus he arose, so to speak, sorrowful and glad; and joy and grief alternated in him. He anxiously pondered what this vision might portend, and his spirit laboured sore to come at the understanding of it. And while he continued without any clear perception of its meaning, and the strangeness of the vision was perplexing his heart, marks of nails began to appear in his hands and feet, such as he had seen a little while before in the Man crucified who had stood over him. His hands and feet seemed pierced in the midst by nails, the heads of the nails appearing in the inner part of the hands and in the upper part of the feet, and their points over against them. Now those marks were round in the inner side of the hands and elongated on the outer side, and certain small pieces of flesh were seen like the ends of nails bent and driven back, projecting from the rest of the flesh. So also the marks of nails were imprinted in his feet, and raised above the rest of the flesh. Moreover his right side, as it had been pierced by a lance, was overlaid with a scar, and often shed forth blood, so that his tunic and drawers were many times sprinkled with the sacred blood. (tr. Alan George Ferrers Howell)

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s