One day, while passing the rundown church known as San Damiano, Francis heard an internal voice from his spirit telling him to go in and pray. He entered and knelt before the cross in contemplation. While gazing at the cross, Francis saw the lips of Jesus move and he heard the words “Francis, go repair my house which as you see is falling into ruin.”
At first Francis misunderstood and proceeded to repair only the San Damiano Chapel. Eventually, his acts of poverty, humility and charity brought about repairs to the entire Catholic Church.
The San Damiano Cross has symbolized the mission to bring renewal to the Church.