Friday, October 4, 2013

Visiting Assisi

     As I mentioned yesterday, Pope Francis joined countless others on a journey to the city of the other Francis, the troubadour of the great King.   I look forward to watching my taped recordings of that pilgrimage.  I hope that his visit was for him a tremendously moving event.

     I have had the privilege of visiting Assisi three times.  In 1986 or 1987 (my memory is failing) I joined a group from the International Priests' Retreat held in Rome that year on a visit to the birthplace of Francis.  The trip lasted a few days (I stayed just across the grass covered square from the Basilica of Saint Francis at the Hotel San Francesco).  We concelebrated Mass in the magnificent crypt church, visited Francis' tomb, toured the great upper church.  We visited Clare (who is an incorruptible), toured her basilica and prayed before the San Damiano crucifix.  We did the other sites - the old and the new (1200's) Cathedrals, Francis' baptismal font, San Damiano, did some shopping, and was blessed.  For a few additional days we stayed with the Third Order Regular Franciscans (TOR) at their house in the town square, attached to the Church that was in Roman times a temple to Minerva.

     I visited Assisi a few years later with two of our priests - Fathers Ron Simboli and Chet Raimer.  We stayed at a convent of a group of Sisters, and spent the time seeing the sites and being blessed.

     Then in 2003 I visited on a day trip from Rome with Fathers Ed McCullough, Rick Kosisko and Tony Ditto with a great tour guide and driver for the day.  I have included a few of my pictures of the trip.

A view of the town architecture as you enter Assisi.

The entrance to the lower Church of the Basilica of Saint Francis.
This square was the site of Pope Francis' Mass today.

A view of Saint Peter Church and the valley below.

The square in front of the Basilica of Saint Clare from the doorway.

The entrance to what I believe is Francis' family home.
I wonder if the Pizzeria was there then?

     Assisi is a beautiful hill country town in Umbria, a great place of spiritual power and beauty as well, and well worth the trip.


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