|San Francisco Cuernavaca, the open chapel|
In this post we focus on a specific, two part mural to be found in the open chapel, the architectural high point of the monastery.
Francis kneels barefoot in the center offering up his Rule to the pope, seated on a throne surrounded by his cardinals on the left. An inscribed banderole quotes the pope’s approval of the Rule.
Eleven tonsured Franciscan friars kneel behind Francis making up an apostolic twelve.
In another Latin inscription, Christ on the cross urges Francis to rebuild his ruined church of St. Damian, near Assisi : Francisce vade, et repara domum meam quae, ut cernis, tota destruitur. (Francis, go and rebuild my house, which has been totally destroyed)
Francis, dressed as a friar and holding his Rule, seems to be edging out of the frame to the left, presumably to pursue his calling, while the luxuriously robed, kneeling figure to the right, to whom Christ's appeal is directed, may depict St. Francis in the moment of his conversion.
text © 2017 Richard D. Perry
color images by Niccolo Brooker and Benjamin Arredondo