We made the pilgrimage to the village of Assisi. A short train ride took us to Assisi station where we hopped on the local bus to take us to the foot of the village and then we walked and walked and walked! The entrance to the village said welcome to the City of Peace.
The simplicity of this mountainside city and the beauty of the view below was breathtaking. To call it the City of Peace was not an understatement as we leisurely strolled up and down lanes window shopping, wandering from one church to another, looking on with awe, stopping to pray and meditate. Tourists were few in number, most who were present today were stopping to offer prayer or sit quietly. Noisy people were soon shushed by someone nearby.
Words alone are inadequate to describe participating in the mass at St. Francis Cathedral surrounded by the beauty and majesty. The sung parts of the service were done acapella and it sounded fabulous as it soared to the rafters and echoed throughout the building. It was enough to bring tears to the eyes.
Peace here is about living in simplicity and harmony with all of creation. This was the goal of Francis as he renounced his worldly life and the comforts that he had known. The cross that he used is unique to the order The tau is the sign used by St. Francis to wish peace to all he met. It looks like a T. In the Old Testament, it is the last letter of the Hebrew alphabet. It was much in evidence at many of the local gift shops and was certainly prominent on the lawn of the Cathedral
The gates of Assisi
Side view of the Basilica of Francis
Side view and entrance of the lower part of the Basilica
A most unique nativity
Entrance Doors (this is as far as the camera was allowed)
Inner court yard, Cloister Apse
From the upper part of the Basilica we walked out to this courtyard
The Front view
Trying to capture all of this place
Looking directly at the Basilica, note the Tau Cross and Pax
Outside one of the stores there was this wooden piece
depicting Francis and an arc of birds
Temple of Minerva
Basilica of St. Clare
The view of the village of Assisi
The Valley below
Perched on top of the mountain
Looking toward St. Claire
This was very common in the village to
have a fresco near the house address
The whole experience of Assisi, places of prayer, meditation, solitude and grand structures built on the side of this mountain was special. Special not because of the grand structures that have been erected but because of the activity and sincerity of these saints who devoted their lives to the care of creation and the love of all creatures.
Preach the gospel at all times, and when necessary . . . use words.-- St. Francis of Assisi