Pilgrimpace's Blog


One of the highlights of the time in Italy was a day’s pilgrimage to Assisi.

On a hot morning, we found a car park outside the city and followed a stream of pilgrims walking up a dusty road through the countryside.  We climbed some steps and were next to the Walls.  Our journey took us first to Saint Claire’s Basilica.



One of the most moving parts of this was spending some time praying in front of the San Damiano Crucifix, the Icon, originally the ruined Chapel of San Damiano, through which Christ commanded Francis to “Repair my Church for it is falling down”.


In amongst the bustle and busyness of one of the big pilgrim destinations, it can be difficult to get a purchase on things.  As we walked through the town we passed The Pilgrim’s Oratory.  This was built in 1457 as the Chapel of a Pilgrim Hostel by the Confraternities of St Antony Abbot and St James of Compostella.


It is now in the care of the Franciscan Missionary Sisters of Assisi as a place for adoration of the Blessed Sacrament.  We found this a beautiful and necessary place to pray quietly.

Walking to the other end of the Assisi, we reached the Basilica of St Francis.


We entered the lower Church first (to the bottom left of the picture).  On the darkness here we journeyed to the Tomb of Francis.  Among the relics which are on display is his tunic, speaking so much of the utter poverty of his life and way.


Then the Upper Church with its light and the frescoes telling the story of Francis’ life.

picture from Wikipedia Commons

picture from Wikipedia Commons

Fresco by Giotto, from Wikipedia Commons

Fresco by Giotto, from Wikipedia Commons

There was still much to see, but this was enough for a day, enough to spend time pondering, reflecting, feeding on.  We had not originally planned to go to Italy, but – as so often with St Francis – I find myself being drawn close to him, his family, his way, without seeking it.


4 Comments so far
Leave a comment

This is so cool, thanks for sharing Andy. Hope all is well in your world — blessings. 🙂

Comment by Val

Thanks Val. All well here, and I hope for you too.

Comment by pilgrimpace

My reply to “How are you?” at church on Sunday mornings has become “Happy to be here.” All is not well, but I consider the lives of so many in the history of the people of God for whom that was also true. On some level, no matter what, life is what you make of it. “You are alive today, and that is a gift” is always a good place to start, no matter what else may come. Blessings for your Sunday and for your week — have a beautiful day.

Comment by Val

thanks for graciousness Val! Bless you too.

Comment by pilgrimpace

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: