Monday, May 26, 2008
St. Clare, Pilgrims and San Damiano
So today the pilgrims journey just outside of Assisi. It is not far but it is a formidable walk to San Damiano.
The place is surprisingly simple. This is where so much started. This is where Francis prayed before the cross and heard God tell him to rebuild His church. This became the sanctuary, the home for Clare and the Poor Clares.
At this site Clare and the other sisters “heard” the Mass behind a metal grill. Here is where Clare healed others while she herself suffered in debilitating health. This is where Clare stood before the Saracens who where preparing to invade Assisi and the troops turned around. This is where Clare died.
This is an incredible place. From behind these walls Clare influenced Western and Central Europe. From behind these walls a movement grew, the Second Order.
The pilgrims will be moved, by the walk, by the place and by a healing ceremony next to the site where the saint died.
They will walk out of the medieval walled city of Assisi. They will walk down and down past olive orchards and grape vineyards. The yellow flowers and tall trees will frame the valley and the birds will sing and the blossoms will be aromatic and they will have a wonderful time.
It is good to walk among and with the saints.