Prayer Requests

Hotel Fontebella
Hotel Fontebella
Thank you for all the good wishes upon our arrival here. We have received the prayer requests. Count on our prayers.

This morning we had Holy Mass in the lower Basilica of St. Francis, just a few feet from his tomb.

Then we toured the upper and lower Basilicas, visiting St. Francis and admiring the beautiful frescoes, especially those by Giotto. We were guided by a local expert, with a son named Francesco.

We visited the nearby chapel of San Damiano, where St. Francis heard our Lord speak to him from the cross. Christ told St. Francis to “re-build my Church.” This is also the place where St. Clare lived her life as a nun and inaugurated the Poor Clare way of life. We visited the original Poor Clare convent.

paniniThen we visited the Basilica of St. Clare, where the saint rests in peaceful splendor, awaiting the resurrection. From there we walked to the town square, where there was an ancient Roman temple to the goddess of wisdom. Now the building is a church dedicated to our Lady.

Then it was time for a delicious Italian lunch.

Just to give you an idea of what a small world it truly is: By noon today (Assisi time, of course–six hours ahead of EST) I had already run into two priests I know.

Also, we all knew by breakfast about the unfortunate outcome yesterday evening in Washington. But we do not care, since we have bigger fish to fry. A pilgrimage can even put football into perspective.

…More to follow, hopefully with pictures.

Thrilled, Tired, and Here

Deacon William Walker and your servant in front of the Basilica of Our Lady of the Angels in Assisi
Deacon William Walker and your servant in front of the Basilica of Our Lady of the Angels in Assisi

It has been something of a slog through airports, bus parking lots, and hilly Umbrian streets…but we pilgrims have made it to the town of St. Francis.

Upon arrival in Assisi, we went straight to the Basilica of Our Lady of the Angels. This massive sixteenth-century church houses the Portiuncula, the small chapel where St. Francis and his first followers prayed. This is also the site where St. Clare became the Bride of Christ, as our guide Elizabeth pointed out. And it is the place where the Troubadour of Christ breathed his last.

For followers and friends of St. Francis, this is the holiest of sites. It was not just sleep deprivation that made us emotional as we celebrated Holy Mass in the chapel of St. Clare. The Lord has drawn us here to meet Him, to renew ourselves in contemplation of the mystery of holiness.

Tomorrow we will visit both St. Francis and St. Clare. The Basilica where we were earlier today is in the lower town of Assisi, at the bottom of the hill. It was open country and woods at the time of St. Francis and St. Clare.

The churches of the saints of Assisi are in the thousand-year-old town at the top of the hill. We came up the hill by bus after Mass, just in time for supper.

dinnerfontOur accommodations are right between the churches of St. Francis and St. Clare, in the middle of the old town. The hotel dining room afforded us a splendid dinner this evening, complete with bottles of delicious Umbrian wine. We are now well-fed and hope to be well-rested soon.

We thank the gracious Providence of God for getting us here safely. And we thank Him, and all the wonderful geeks of the world, for making it possible to share this with you. The Geeks are alright!

More to come tomorrow, if God allows.