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Saint Francis
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Master of Sir John Fastolf
French or English, France or England, about 1430 - 1440
Tempera colors, gold leaf, and ink on parchment
4 3/4 x 3 5/8 in.
MS. 5, FOL. 44V

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Saint Francis of Assisi kneels in prayer at the center of a lush green landscape representing Mount La Verna in Umbria, Italy where he prayed and fasted for forty days. During a moment of intense prayer, a crucified seraph, or six-winged angel, appeared to Francis and imprinted the stigmata--Christ's Crucifixion wounds) on the saint's body, shown here by the red lines that connect the seraph's wounds to Francis's hands, feet, and side. The saint embodies the attempts by late medieval Christians to spiritually imitate Christ using private prayer books, like this one, to focus their meditations on Jesus's life, teachings, and suffering.