Looking through past posts I realize on this feast of the Stigmata of Francis that I have written quite a bit about it; its scriptural basis in Paul's letter to the Galatians, its possible relationship to Francis's supposed medical diagnoses, even its meaning with regard to a fundamental semiotics of the Cross.
I suppose this is because the Stigmata of Francis has been a recent discovery for me. In my Franciscan formation not much was made of it; it was either ignored as something belonging to another time and sensibility, or it was dismissed as something gruesome or fantastical. But as I've grown up as a Franciscan, the Stigmata has seemed more and more important to me in my understanding of and devotion to Francis of Assisi.
It seems to me that Stigmata are the logical end of saying, as we do in every Eucharist, that we are the mystical Body of Christ. To bear on our own bodies the wounds, or "brand marks" as our Bibles usually translate the Greek stigmata, would seem to be the ordinary result of affirming the God who, in Christ crucified, identifies with our suffering and alienation and pain. Even if there is nothing miraculous to see with the physical eyes, it seems to me that any of our own suffering and pain that we allow to be caught up into the humanity of Christ becomes the sacred Stigmata.
To me it's the mystery of seeing Christ crucified in the suffering humanity God has united himself to in the mystery of the Incarnation, of seeing their wounds as the wounds of Christ.