Francis of the Five Wounds
Sister Mary Francis of the Five Wounds
(1900 - 1925)
Margaret the Bride
the day of her clothing, her bridal day, Margaret Sinclair adorned in
her white bridal dress and veil would of made haste with joy, to surrender
her young life totally to Jesus Christ, her Spouse.
Desiring with all her heart and soul to serve Christ as a Poor Clare
Extern Sister in Holy Mother Church, and specifically within the community
that God had led her too, The Poor Clare Monastery in Ladbrooke Grove,
Notting Hill, London, she eagerly whispered her, fiat!
The community having been assembled with lighted candles, the sisters
"Come Bride of Christ and receive the crown prepared for you”
At a given moment sister would then have laid aside her earthly finery,
and after her hair having been cut round, was then dressed in her holy
habit, cord, the white veil and kerchief of a novice. After which Mother
Abbess would have said,
“Dear Sister, since you have now changed your state of life, you will
now change your name, in future you shall be known as Sister Mary Francis
of the Five Wounds.”
To which the new novice would of responded, having kissed the proffered
“God forbid that I should glory, save in the Cross of Jesus Christ my
Lord, through whom the world is crucified to me and I to the world"
“Come Bride of Christ and receive the crown prepared for you".
The crown that Margaret was to receive was the crown of suffering, for
the Lord called her all too soon upon the path to her Calvary.
But was Margaret not given, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit
made manifest through the community, the mystery after her name, that
of Sister Mary Francis ... “of the Five Wounds.”?
Margaret both received the name of her stigmatised patron, St. Francis
of Assisi, and also the mystery of the Five Wounds of her Lord.
St. Clare is recorded as having a great devotion to the prayer of the
five wounds, and still today the Cross prayers are prayed kneeling with
arms outstretched in a cruciform, uniting all the petitions, intentions,
and love of her heart to God. Many of us will have received a new name
when we became a religious, far more of us will have received a new
name at confirmation, the name of a St., an angel, or a virtue.
Nothing that occurs to us in our lives is by chance, everything serves
Gods purpose and will, although in all possibility we do not understand
it, and it may indeed be a long long time before we grow into that deeper
awareness of what God really desires of us and for us.
But the name we receive, somehow, we are meant to become what the name
represents, or in some way reflect some aspect of the life of the St.
or angel that has been given to us as a protector and guide.
Looked at realistically we could have chosen, or have been given a thousand
other names, but we have just one given, or chosen for us.
Margaret Sinclair became, Sister Mary Francis of the Five Wounds – she
truly became through her great sufferings, a wounded Christ, given for
others ... as Margaret was to say, so beautifully,
“If I could gain one soul for Jesus it would be worth it all.
A Poor Clare Colettine Nun
Totally Faithful to the Sacred
Deposit of Faith entrusted to the Holy See in Rome
opera tua ... quia modicum habes virtutem, et servasti verbum
Meum, nec non negasti Nomen Meum”
know your works ... that you have but little power, and
yet you have kept My word, and have not denied My Name.”
Copyright © 2004 - 2023 Boston Catholic
Journal. All rights reserved. Unless otherwise stated, permission
is granted by the Boston Catholic Journal for the copying
and distribution of the articles and audio files under the
following conditions: No additions, deletions, or
changes are to be made to the text or audio files in any
way, and the copies may not be sold for a profit. In the
reproduction, in any format of any image, graphic, text,
or audio file, attribution must be given to the Boston Catholic