St. Francis of Assissi
Question from on 05-06-2007:
We have a statue of St. Francis of Assissi in our church(St. Joseph's in Earling, IA), with a skull lying at his feet. Can you tell me the significance of this skull? My CYO class has asked me this, and I am stumped.
Answer by Matthew Bunson on 05-19-2007:
This is a good question. The skull was a common motif in paintings and also statues featuring the great saints because it was a symbol of asceticism. It was not uncommon for early (and even later) monks, ascetics, and mystics to keep a skull in their cells or rooms as a potent reminder of mortality. I hope that helps.