"Rebuild My Church, which you can see is falling into ruin."
When the icon at St. Damian's spoke this to St. Francis, Francis took it at face value. St. Damian's _was_ half fallen down, after all. So he started begging for stone and mortar and building supplies, and set himself to rebuilding the Lord's Church --- i. e., St. Damian's. Then Our Lady of the Angels at Little Portion. Then about a half-dozen other small churches in the countryside near his hometown. It took years of apprenticeship rebuilding the Lord's churches --- the buildings --- before he became aware that he was also to rebuild The Lord's Church --- singular, capitalized article --- which in his thirteenth century was in utterly miserable condition. He needed the hard stonemasonry work and the disciplined life to make him sufficiently strong to do the larger task.