Back in 2004 I was blessed to be able to make a retreat in the beautiful, and old, city of Assisi in Italy. It was wonderful. Assisi has the charm of being unchanged since the middle ages. It also has a true sense of PEACE about it, unlike I have seen anywhere else. It is certainly a most wonderful place to visit. I want to share with you some pictures I took there. God bless you and may St. Francis always lead you to Jesus and the true PEACE that only He can give.
A statue of St. Francis found in the grounds of nearby La Verna, a place he loved to retreat to.
Looking from the top of the mountain down on to the city of Assisi. This old section of Assisi was never developed over because the new city was built below it.
Assisi was actually originally a Roman city. Here is a Roman temple built before the birth of Jesus. This is in the town square and was a temple to Minerva. In the 300’s the Christians made it in to a church now called Mary over Minerva. I was blessed to assist at mass inside here.
The Church of Mary over Minerva with the middle aged church tower built next to it. This tower was present at the time of Francis.
One of the city gates built by the Romans
The Church of St. Claire. This church contains the remains of St. Claire as well as the original cross of San Damiano that spoke to Francis telling him to “Rebuild my Church”.
One of the many small, but beautiful streets of Assisi.
A bell tower of St. Stephen’s church. A place that Francis loved to visit.
Another quaint street of Assisi. Great food throughout the city (typical of Italy). One restaurant that we ate in existed in the time of Francis. It had a Plexiglas floor that allowed you to see the Roman ruins it was built upon.
Since Assisi is built on a mountain side, many of its streets consist of stairs.
The large Church built over the grave of St. Francis. It is absolutely beautiful inside.
The outside lawn shows the Franciscan Tau symbol as well as the PAX symbol. St. Francis was all about the cross and peace.
The actual grave of St. Francis. The front wall was removed to be able to see his stone coffin. We had mass here.
Another quaint street of Assisi.
We walked down from Assisi to the Church of San Damiano, as Francis so often did.
On the walk down, we saw the beautiful olive groves with a farmer burning off clippings.
The Church of San Damiano. It was originally built in the 900’s but had fallen in to ruin by the time of St. Francis. He loved to go there to pray. One day the cross inside spoke to him telling him to rebuild the church. Originally, Francis took this to mean physically rebuilding and he started that. Later he realized that he was told to rebuild (spiritually) the whole Church.
The cloisters of San Damiano.
Looking up to Assisi from the Church of San Damiano. Beauty and Peace and God’s Spirit fill all around here.
I hope that this pictorial view of Assisi has helped you to appreciate the beauty of the place St. Francis called home. If you haven’t been there yet, I hope you get a chance to go. May our good Lord bless you with His peace.