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Land of peace and love

Every person who visits Assisi is a witness to the peace that is transmitted in this small walled city in the region of Umbria.

On Saturday, 7 October, our seminarians, accompanied by Rector Fr Javier Canosa and other priests from the formation team, visited Assisi, the land where St Francis walked and witnessed his love for God, the Church and his people.

The visit began at the Basilica of St Mary of the Angels, built on the Porziuncola, where St Francis founded the Order of Friars Minor in 1209, entrusting it to the protection of the Virgin Mother of Christ, to whom the Church was dedicated.

Continuing the tour and arriving at the birthplace of St Francis and St Clare, we visit the basilica of this great saint, composed of two overlapping churches, both very different from each other. The lower basilica is somewhat dark and from there we descend to the crypt where St Francis of Assisi is buried. The upper basilica is brighter and more beautiful, with walls decorated with frescoes by Giotto on the life of St Francis.

Another important place we visited was the Basilica of St. Clare, inside this church built between 1257 and 1265 is the cross or Christ of San Damiano, who spoke to St. Francis. There are also well-preserved works of art and frescoes that show the life of the saint, a faithful follower of Saint Francis and founder of the Order of the Poor Clares, as well as her tomb.

The Sanctuary of San Damiano, a little outside the city, was declared a Unesco World Heritage Site in 2000. It was the first monastery of the Order of the Poor Clares, as well as the place where Saint Clare died.

It should be emphasised that "the places of St. Francis are ways to meet the Lord". Blessed Carlo Acutis loved to spend time walking and praying in this place. Today his mortal remains rest in the Sanctuary of the Expoliation, the place where St. Francis of Assisi "left everything to follow the Lord".

Assisi is undoubtedly a land of peace and love. Undoubtedly it was an unforgettable opportunity to visit these places where Francis decided to renounce his earthly goods to belong to Christ and to live as a poor man among the poor.


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