Brother Francis pointed to the place known as "Colle dell'Inferno" (Hill of Hell"), the place where the poorest of the poor ones were executed, an area within his native city, as the location where he wanted to be buried. Work started immediately on the construction of his tomb and the magnificent basilica that encompasses it.
Considered to be the finest masons of that time, some Lombard Masters were duly commissioned to build St. Francis’ tomb.
Second to none is the geometric splendour of the basilica’s facade, to which was added a stone embroidery, a window of light, a rosette with symbolic significance.
This rose window is considered to have powerful mathematical proportions full of meaning.
The circular shape, an infinite line, with no beginning nor end, symbolizes God, the central flow of human history, the centre of salvation, with its central point branching out into twelve spiral columns held together by a trefoil arch.
Twelve is one of the most important biblical numbers (Israel had 12 tribes, the minor prophets, the apostles, the months of the year, the hours of day and night).
In the second circle are fourteen circles containing five rose shaped petals, a symbol of the divine manifestation and the conception of Mary.
In the third circle there are forty-six columns, yet another important biblical number with a strong symbolic value, which refers to the Creation and the Revelation of Christ.
The rosettes are also intended to express the idea of human development, which radiates from the centre, God, only to return to It.
This, again, is also symbolized in the outermost circle whose snake-like pattern contains the archaic symbol of infinity.
The rose window of St. Francis' Basilica as seen today, appears to be made of white stone, however it was originally embellished with mosaics whose colours replicated the four elements of nature: air, water, earth and fire.
The 4 elements divide the rose window in four identical parts with the four Evangelists placed on the outside and still visible today.
HUMILIS, aware of the beauty and significance of this sculptural work, has created the most realistic reproduction of St. Francis Basilica's rose window into a jewel.
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