This morning we will walk in the footsteps of St Francis of Assisi, the ordinary man who became a saint by dedicating his life to simplicity, humility, love of nature, and helping others. There are few role models better equipped to guide the modern traveler. A pilgrim himself, Saint Francis invites us to make an inward journey while becoming more attune to the beauty of the world around us.
Our activities this morning will seek to follow this example as visit the peaceful Eremo delle Carceri. This hermitage is built over the caves where St. Francis and his friends came to pray. It is a place dedicated to peace, silence, and observing the beauty of nature.
Our next stop today will be the church and monastery at San Damiano. Situated outside the medival walls of Assisi and within the beauty of the surrounding countryside. It was here that Saint Francis received a vision from God and Saint Claire founded her order, famous for joyfulness and poverty.
Our last stop for the day will be the Basilica of Saint Francis. This stunning church, painted by Giotto, is a forerunner of the Renaissance in Florence. The gorgeously frescoed images here not only illustrate the story of Francis’ life but remind the traveler that it is through simple acts of charity that true beauty is achieved.
The patron saint of animals and nature, St. Francis relinquished a life of hedonism and luxury in pursuit of a life of spiritual perfection.
Walking: moderate, 3 miles
Bus time: ~ 1 hr.