Saturday, May 24, 2008
New Pilgrims to Assisi
Assisi, City of Francis
Last year when I started this blog the first thing I wrote about was my pilgrimage to Assisi. I wrote because it had been one year and my friends were now making the pilgrimage. Well, a year later and there is another group of pilgrims from the University of St. Francis.
They arrived yesterday. The drive from Rome to Assisi sets the stage. As the mountains and valleys appear and the poppies, vineyards and olive orchards appear you know you are entering a special place.
Yesterday they arrived at Casa Papa Giovanni. That will be there home for a week. It is a place of great meals, a chapel for individual and group services. It has a wonderful library and three, count them, three, roof top gardens. From your bedroom windows you can see the valley between Assisi and Perugia.
Down the street is the Roman Temple, the Basilica of St. Clare, the chapel of St. Stefan, the fountain. In the other direction rests Brother Francis. Above is the fortress wall.
These pilgrims will be transformed. This is not a vacation, it is the folding and unfolding of time. They will walk and commune with the saints and with one another. They will commune with all of us who made that visit.
Yesterday they were oriented to the city and to the historical landscape of Francis and Clare. Today they go to so many of the birthplaces of our movement. As I write this they are asleep. I cannot wait to hear their experiences. In the meantime I will be reflecting on our collective pilgrimages.
Peace and all good