Basilica of Saint Francis inside and out
Where can you sit in the center of a powerful energy vortex, be surrounded by Italian art, and feel the presence of a most honored saint? In Assisi, Italy!
Saint Francis is the one of the most beloved spiritual figures in the world, and Assisi is his birthplace (1181-1226). A major pilgrimage stop for people from around the world, the Basilica of St. Francis calls to everyone. Inside this huge basilica you will find 13th-century frescoes by Giotto and Cimabue, and others, portraying the life of St. Francis of Assisi. I find this hilltop Umbrian village peaceful and serene, with geraniums gracing the streets, musicians singing in the piazza, and churches brimming with art. Yes, there are the junky touristy stores all around, but you can see beyond all of that into the heart of Assisi–a sacred land.
St. Francis became a mystic at the age of 19 after having visions of Christ and Mary. He abandoned his well-to-do life, and started preaching sermons outside focusing on simplicity and poverty. His movement grew quickly into the Franciscan order.
People who live in Assisi love it and feel privileged. I walked with an elderly lady along the street leading to the Basilica of Saint Francis and she told me she feels blessed to live there.
I have experienced profound meditations and prayer in every church in Assisi. Saint Francis’ wish was that all pilgrims who visit feel the divine and have that influence their lives.
As is common in sacred sites around the world, the feeling of peace is palpable. It fills your heart with love that enriches your life and awakens deep peace.
Some special must-see stops in Assisi:
- Basilica of Saint Francis
- Basilica of Saint Clare (Basilica di Santa Chiara)
- Cathedral of San Rufino
- Basilica di Santa Maria degli Angeli and the Porziuncola Chapel that is inside. St. Francis established his order of monks in this chapel, and died here.
- The Hermitage and caves of St. Francis (3 miles up the hill by car)
Once you’ve experienced the many levels of beauty and bliss that enlivens Assisi, you’ll understand why this city is a special pilgrimage destination.
Assisi is one of the many towns we will visit in 2016 during my Italy Retreat For Women to Live La Dolce Vita.
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