St. Francis was 45 years old when he died in 1226, having experienced in this short lifetime the power and love of God and the beauty of Creation. He commended his soul to the mercy of God dressed in the humble robes of the poorest peasants of Italy, with the shaved head of a slave and pierced with the stigmata (the wounds of Christ). In this icon Francis is presented in a traditional Byzantine iconographic style, as is proper to the Umbrian area of Italy in the 12th and 13th centuries. He stands on two layers of green to represent the earth and is surrounded by a rich blue color that expresses the reality that he dwells in heavenly glory before the Throne of God, Whom he sought to serve with body and soul.
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