While he [Francis] was walking near the church of San Damiano, an inner voice bade him go in and pray. He obeyed, and kneeling before the image of the crucified Savior, he began to pray most devoutly. A tender, compassionate voice then spoke to him: “Francis, do you not see that my house is falling into ruin? Go, and repair it for me.” Trembling and amazed Francis replied: “Gladly I will do so, O Lord.” He had understood that the Lord was speaking of that very church which, on account of its age, was indeed falling into ruin. These words filled him with the greatest joy and inner light because in spirit he knew that it was indeed Jesus Christ who had spoken to him.