Sunday, 23 September 2012


So everything on our September Pilgrimage went well. In fact we've been back for over a week.  I enjoyed revisiting the various sites connected with St Francis and St Clare in the first part of our journey this year. When I first visited Assisi in my 20s I don't remember it being so hilly!  St Francis Basilica was mega-busy, and it was a relief to go to Greccio, where he made the first Crib, and the Hermitage to where he and his companions would retire for peace and prayer. Our Masses all went well, I feel, and we had a meaningful prayer service in the woods at the Hermitage, which people seem to have enjoyed.  One of my favourite moments was having the chapel of the Stigmata at Mt La Verna to myself for five minutes (pics show the chapel, with a candle marking the stone of the stigmata, and beautiful della Robbia altarpiece, plus another of the view outside) while the group were on the guided tour. St Francis seemed particularly close at that moment.
Spoleto, where we stayed, turned out to be a lovely place, too. The hotel was great, spacious and spotless. We all had nice rooms with views over the Umbrian hillsides. The cathedral was very impressive - as were the ice-creams in a little place along the street from our hotel! I can recommend the Hotel dei Duchi in Spoleto (ie "Dukes' Hotel") to anyone looking for a base in Umbria. Fr M approves. More about part 2of our pilgrimage next time...


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