Vision of St. Dominic and Meeting of St. Francis and St. Dominic by Benozzo Gozzoli (1421-1497). Painted in 1452, Gozzoli was an Italian Renaissance painter from Florence best known for a series of murals in the Palazzo Medici-Riccardi depicting festive, vibrant processions with fine attention to detail and a pronounced International Gothic influence.
In the summer of 1215, St. Francis and a small group of friars were in Rome seeking approbation for his Rule. One night while Francis was praying, he saw Our Lord prepared to unleash the most terrible chastisements upon the world. The Virgin Mary made an effort to placate Him, asking His mercy and forgiveness by presenting two men who would labor for the conversion of the world and return a countless number of lost sheep to the fold. Francis recognized himself as one of these apostles. He did not recognize the other one, however.
The following day, while St. Francis was in church, an unknown man suddenly came up to him and embraced him. Francis recognized him as the other man in the vision. St. Dominic, who had also received a similar vision, upon seeing St. Francis immediately greeted him with the words, “You are my companion. We will work together, supporting one another toward the same end, and no one will prevail against us.”