Yesterday morning we awoke early and started our journey to Assisi, Italy. We first boarded a train, then a bus to arrive a the "termini" to purchase tickets for the 2 hour trip to Assisi. It was early but there was laughter and a sense of excitement.
We arrived in Assisi at around 1000am and then took another bus up the hill. We then walk to the Benedictine Sisters Monastery of St. Joseph. There we celebrated mass in their guest chapel. After mass we were given a tour of there casa and met Abbes Jacinta who welcomed us.
This is the view from their veranda off of their refectory. It show all of Assisi that soon we would all explore. What was most striking about all this was that we had experienced Benedictine hospitality in its finest...maps, pictures and love were extended to us pilgrims....for as St. Paul says today in the second reading....We are all one. We are from 17 various countries and nationalities in this holy place....but we were united in the love of God.
This Basicilia was damaged severely by the earthquake when I was last here in 1999. It was so nice to see all of it restored. The day as you can see was perfect with blue skies and no rain. It was a bit chilly but it was great weather to walk up and down the streets of Assisi.
This is statues in bronze of Sts' Clare and Francis outside the house where Francis was born. On top of the small casa is built a chapel that if you did not know Italian you would miss. We were once again blessed because a priest with two men was explaining the chapel. He then proceeded to tell us in English that Francis's mother had a dream that Francis should be born as Jesus....in a cave. we then proceeded to see both the original house, well, door and his birth cave. We were all thankful for this opportunity that was provided for us. On the side is some of the additional pictures for you to enjoy...the wooden door is the original door to St. Francis's casa
There is just so much to see in Assisi, the fresco's on walls as you walk the streets, the artwork that in the United States would be in a museum but here is available for all to see and enjoy. The little nooks that as you round a corner have a tile with a mosaic picture of Mary, Joseph or one of the saints.
We then went to visit the Basicila of St. Clare. These are her relics that have been preserved.
I could write on this place all day but will post some pictures and let you enjoy a taste of Assisi.
When we returned, it was late but Sr. Pia met us at the door in her bed clothes to welcome us home...she was as happy and joyful as we were....we are blessed not just by the experience but by the people.
May you have a blessed day this day and everyday....for as St. Paul said....do not be sad today...for God is our Joy.. Sr. John Paul