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.
Our 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.