Thursday, January 28, 2010
I am so honored to be here to learn from a wise master the Rule of Benedict...
May God continue to bless you Sr. as you bless and enrich our lives.
Sister John Paul
The ambo sculpture was commissioned in the jubilee year 2000. It is the angel of the resurrection. This was inspired by Bernini. At the left is Fr. Michael standing behind the ambo....can you imagine proclaiming the Word of God from this beautiful ambo?
This is the scavi that has recently been verified to be from the first or second century. This area is venerated as the place of the birth of Saints' Benedict and Scholastica. The early fresco depict the Annunciation and the Nativity.
This is the Chapter Room and Chapel for the monks. If you look closely you can see the excavation under the glass floor.
Thanks for sharing this special place with me.
Sister John Paul
One of the two large Porta's to enter the city with the insignia of a lion.
Cities built these walls as a means of protection during war....in addition, they built on top of the mountain. The term fortified city takes on a new meaning.
The Piazza or the market place is on the same site as it was in the time of the Romans. The statue of St. Benedict was placed in the square at the time of the 1400th anniversary (1880). From this focal point, you can make your way down the streets of shops to the Catellina. This is the site of an ancient Temple of Fortuna. It was built in the 16th century as a fortress and a palace. It now house the museum
This statue of Saint Benedict is probably the most notable one for everyone. It is one many postcards, in books and overseas the whole town.
The Church of St. Benedict. Tradition says that here stood the house where Benedict and Scholastica were born. To the right and left of the portal are statues of the Saints.
The church and abbey were suppressed in 1810 and in 2000 a new community of Benedictine monks came to Norcia per the request of then Abbot Primate Marcel Rooney. The founding prior Father Cassian is from St. Mienrad's Archabbey and started out with three and now have 13. The monks are currently trying to restore much of the fresco's, crypt and Basicalla that was largely left unattended for so many years.
Must go to class so I will post some more pictures later...have a great day...
Wednesday, January 27, 2010
This is Sister Jaya standing next to the statue of St. Scholastica in the house of her parents.
Tomorrow, I will post about the actual town of Norcia, the church of S. Benedetto and show you the birthplace of Benedict and Scholastica. Until then, God Bless.
Sunday, January 24, 2010
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