Published on March 10, 2014
Franciscan Pilgrimage Beyond Assisi August 23 – September 6 2013
Arrival in Italy Saturday, August 24, 2013
Our Franciscan Directors Joanne Schatzlein, OSFAndré Cirino, OFM Murray Bodo,OFM
Our Pilgrim Group
Our First Pension
…in front of a beautiful rendition of the Chapter of Mats in 1221
In the garden there are lovely statues of Francis, Leo…
…as well as other friends of Francis
Our pension bordered the Basilica of Our Lady of the Angels
…which is as beautiful at night as it is in the day
The Basilica houses the Porziuncola, the little church that Francis refurbished
Our first sacred journey traced St. Francis’ steps the day he left Assisi in order to give his life completely to God Sunday, August 25
Francis stopped at the Benedictine Abbey of San Verecondo in Vallingegno for food and lodging, and was sent to the kitchen to work!
Eventually Francis reached his final destination…
Gubbio The ancient city of Gubbio looks as though it is pasted on the side of the mountain. The city is well known for the story of Francis’ encounter with a ferocious wolf The home of Francis’ friends, the Spadalunga family
During his stay in Gubbio, Francis nursed the lepers at the site of the Chapel of La Vittorina
Ninety year old Fra Domenico described Francis’ ministry at this holy site which Andre translated for us
Gubbio has one of the most endearing statues of Francis and the wolf
There are many touching images of the two
We had a taste of inclement weather that day, causing a tree to fall across the roadway
It hailed during our visit to the next little church Few of us were as prepared as Andre!
Our first day ended with a delicious cena at Domus Pace
The next day we boarded our bus for Monday, August 26 Foligno
Our first visit was to the Monastery of Sant’ Anna established by Angelina of Montegiove, a Third Order Beguine, in 1385
Angelina’s incorrupt body rests here
Andre translated Sister Claudia’s presentation
The monastery is filled with magnificent frescos of every shape and color
Some frescos were even amusing!
Francis and Thomas Aquinas appeared in one of the frescoes
On the way back to Assisi, we passed Spello
…we returned to Foligno
In the central piazza there is a plaque recalling Francis’ sale of his father’s cloth to finance stones to refurbish San Damiano
Our main focus that afternoon was the Church of San Francesco…
…where St. Angela of Foligno, who died in 1309, is buried
Tuesday, August 27,2013 Cortona The Basilica of Santa Margherita We also visited
St. Margaret of Cortona died in 1297. Her incor- rupt body lies behind the altar
The statue of Margaret includes her faithful dog who led her to the body of her murdered husband
That afternoon we had a picnic pranzo at Lago Trasimeno (The motorcycles were not ours!)
Charming little shops line the street across from the lake
After our picnic pranzo, we returned to Cortona and visited Chiesa San Francesco to visit the burial site of Brother Elias whom Francis appointed as his successor in 1221
Brother Elias was also the architect of the Basilica of St. Francis in Assisi
Todi Wednesday, August 28 The Basilica of San Fortunato is the resting place of Blessed Jacopone
Jacopone was a great sinner until his conversion by the grace of his wife’s tragic death in 1268 "Here lie the bones of Blessed Jacopone dei Benedetti da Todi, Friar Minor,, who, having gone mad with love of Christ, by a new artifice deceived the world and took Heaven by violence.”
In addition to Jacopone two early martyrs are also buried in this sacred place: Sts. Callistus (3 c.) and Fortunatus (6 c.)
On the way to Montefalco we visited a lovely pottery shop
Montefalco Benozzo Gozzoli painted famous fresco cycles on the life of St. Francis in Montefalco (Web photo – No photography allowed in museum)
Monteluco Sanctuary of Franciscan Solitude Thursday, August 29
Francis often spent time in solitude in this pristine mountain forest above the city of Spoleto
He still has a friend living there
The Friars preserve ancient thirteen century quarters in this sanctuary
After pranzo, we visited the hilltop city of Spoleto
…and Spoleto’s Duomo that houses …
…Francis’ handwritten letter to Brother Leo
Brother Leo, send greetings and peace to your Brother Francis. As a mother to her child, I speak to you, my son. In this one word, this one piece of advice, I want to sum up all that we said on our journey, and, in case hereafter you still find it necessary to come to me for advice, I want to say this to you: In whatever way you think you will best please our Lord God and follow in his footsteps and in poverty, take that way with the Lord God's blessing and my obedience. And if you find it necessary for your peace of soul or your own consolation until you want to come to me, Leo, then come.
The Cathedral of Spoleto also holds a crucifix painted by Alberto Sozio that closely resembles the San Damiano crucifix whose origin is unknown Sozio Crucifix San Damiano Crucifix
PerugiaFriday, August 30 The ancient Franciscan Friary at Monteripido is on the outskirts of Perugia
This is the resting place of Brother Giles, one of Francis’ first followers
There many ancient artifacts preserved here
Here also, in the little known friary of Monteripido, we found a library with thousands of books…
…most as old as the Italian hills!
That afternoon we were free to wander on our own through the streets of beautiful Assisi
…and to be with Francis in his resting place In front of the basilica, the sorrowful Francis returns home from war, realizing that God is calling him elsewhere
The imposing Rocca Maggiore has guarded Assisi since 1174, or earlier, when it was erected as a German feudal castle
Santa Maria degli Angeli rises in the distant plain
That evening we enjoyed an outdoor pranzo, kindness of our gracious hostess
Lo Speco di NarniSaturday, August 31
Lo Speco di Narni is one of many mountaintops where Francis traveled for solitude and prayer. The Friars still live the rhythm of his Document on Solitude.
The cave where Francis prayed
Francis’ wooden-slatted bed is preserved in this crude stone structure
After our visit to Lo Speco, we traveled south past picturesque hilltop villages…
…through toll gates…
…and stopped for a halfway break …
…before arriving at our new pension in Rome…
This magnificent building was originally the generalate of the Christian Brothers
The dining accommodations were impressive!
Celano is the birthplace of St. Thomas of Celano, the first biographer of St. Francis Sunday, September 1
The cloister is filled with magnificent murals—some serious…
… and a few once more amusing!
After Mass, which we celebrated daily, we went below the altar…
…to see more magnificent frescos
Tagliacozzo is Thomas of Celano’s nearby resting place
The village of Tagliacozzo is charming
Pictures from the bus Rome Monday, September 2
The Vatican dome
The Roman Forum
Public water fountain
Inside the grill, a poor child puts his hand into the mouth of the lion who bites it off if the child has ever told a lie!
Our destination: The Basilica of Santa Maria in Aracoeli
Santa Maria in Aracoeli is on the Capitoline Hill, one of the seven hills of Rome. From the exterior, it appears quite plain Front entrance Side entrance
However the interior is extremely ornate
This is the resting place of Brother Juniper, another one of Francis’ first followers
The next sanctuary we visited was on another one of Rome’s seven hills…
The Convent of St Bonaventure of Barcelona on the Palatine
St. Leonard of Port Maurice is also remembered in this Palatine sanctuary
Bagnoregio Tuesday, September 3 Birthplace of St. Bonaventure, the Seraphic Doctor A simple Italian village with an amazing history
The parish church preserves the arm of Bonaventure encased in gold
After visiting the church, we walked to what looked like the end of town…
…but we had a magnificent surprise awaiting us—Civitá, a piece of the original city of Bagnoregio
Pranzo in view of the idyllic hilltop town was a perfect prelude our visit!
Fortified by a delicious meal…
…we were ready for the challenging trek up the path to the village where no vehicles are allowed
Once inside the gate…
…we visited the site of St. Bonaventure’s home
…part of which once still stood on the other side of this wall
The Cathedral of San Donato where Bonaventure was baptized is also on this pinnacle
We wandered through the earthquake-prone village where only 15 families…
…and a few of Francis’ other fearless friends, now live
Rick Steves says of this traffic-free community : “A man with a Vespa does the same work his father did with a donkey — ferrying the town's goods up and down the umbilical bridge that connects Civitá with a small, distant parking lot and the rest of Italy.” That explains this photo in the “traffic-free community”!
The gardens are magnificent!
…as are the stone façades
Heading down the mountainside… … was much easier than going up!
Wednesday, September 4 Anagni
St. Clare was canonized in the Anagni cathedral
Four popes were born in Anagni : Innocent III 1198-1216 Gregory IX 1227-1241 Alexander IV 1254-1261 Boniface VIII 1294-1303
Bellegra is sanctified by the lives of 52 Franciscan saints over the centuries
The palace of Pope Boniface VIII
The former palace is now a museum commemorating many prestigious events
…including the meeting of Pope Pius XII and the Patriarch of Constantinople in 1964
On the way to Sacro Ritero, we watched large vehicles trying to pass each other on the narrow village road
Then it was our turn! It was very close, but both experienced drivers succeeded without a scrape! Grateful cheers arose!
At last we arrived at Sacro Ritiro of Bellegra
We also visited the convent’s museum which houses many interesting treasures
Stones on which Francis walked The chair in which Pope John XXIII rested Baby Mary’s image Francis’ worn tunic
Thursday, September 5 Viterbo Birthplace of St. Rose
Rose’s incorrupt body is preserved in the Cathedral of Viterbo.
Every year on her feast, the townspeople gather in front of her resting place to celebrate her holy life
…carrying her incorrupt body through the city
We celebrated Eucharist in Rose’s little room in her family home
That afternoon we enjoyed wandering through the streets of Rome
…before enjoying our last cena in Italy
....thanks to another gracious hostess
Arrivederci, Bella Italia !
André, Murray and Joanne Tante Grazie!
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