Ever since Sister Mary (not her real name) played Brother Sun, Sister Moon, the movie about the life of Saint Francis, in our Christian Living class back when I was in my teens, Saint Francis of Assisi became my favorite Saint. He loved God, life, people, and the earth. He would would have supported every effort to save the earth. He most likely would have found being green easy. Everyday of his life, he strove to show his love for God, his fellowmen, and the environment. This is inspiring to me.
I specifically chose our Italy itinerary because of the stop in Assisi. I told myself I can’t go to Italy without visiting the Basilica of my favorite Saint. I am elated that I made the decision, because the medieval town of Assisi is my favorite stop. Located on a hill, the town looks over the surrounding valley. The Basilica stands at the edge of a hill, impressive even from afar.Assisi exudes a small town vibe that is peaceful and spiritual. With a population of a little over 28,000, and having produced 7 Saints, I believe the vibe is real. I remember posting on social media for family and friends that I would love to live there (retirement goals 😊).
It was a joy walking along its streets, passing by churches and stores built centuries ago; following ancient steps leading to hotels and residences. Every now and then, we met a Franciscan monk. We smiled and greeted them, “Pace e bene!” Peace and goodwill.
At the end of the road stands the Basilica in honor of Saint Francis of Assisi. His remains are interred there. It was a blessing to have visited and prayed inside. It is a beautiful church with frescoes of Italian artist Pietro Lorenzetti. No photography is allowed inside the Basilica, so I didn’t take any. I have to be honest that as I sat and reflected in front of the Basilica’s altar, I thought to myself, Saint Francis probably wouldn’t be fond of the grandeur of the Basilica dedicated to him. He lived in simplicity. But at the same time, I thought, I appreciate its presence. It contributes in keeping his mission alive, and a visit there revives the spirit.I would love to go back to Assisi. Stay there for more than a few hours. Enjoy more time to soak in its small town peaceful and spiritual vibe.May I be blessed to return someday. This I pray.