Matthew 11:28-29 “Come unto me. All ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you a rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.”
The bronze of “Saint Francis” is caught up in prayer. The hood of his monk’s robe has been taken off and his head is directed toward God in heaven. The left hand reaches out as he receives God’s blessings. The rosary with the prominent cross reminds the viewer of Christ who made this kind of Holy Communion with God possible. Who knows what Saint Francis is thinking or what is being revealed to him as he prays? He was innovative and creative, and founded the Franciscan order, known for its simple lifestyle and vow of poverty. The idea of the nativity scene to remember the birth of Christ came from Saint Francis and he was the first person to receive the stigmata, the miraculous appearance of the wounds of Christ.
“Saint Francis for me is like Venus on the half shell for Botticelli. I’ve done several versions, and the more I do it the more closely I become related to it. The story is incredible. How he became religious. How he gave up earthly possessions. How he took up the wounds of the Christ. How he called all creatures his ‘brothers and sisters’.” - Gib Singleton