In Assisi, in the footsteps of Saint Francis | RCF

Francis, son of Assisi

It is the whole life of Saint Francis of Assisi that can be reread from the top of the city, where does the start first report of this series: his life as a child and teenager, near the town hall square, his meeting with the leper, a little further in the countryside. We can also see the Saint-Damien church, where Francis heard Christ speaking to him through a crucifix. In the plain, the sanctuary of Rivotorto, which in Francis’ time was a peasant hut, where the saint and his first companions lived for some time. Further on, the dome of the great Sainte-Marie-des-Anges basilica, which houses the Portiuncula, the small church where Saint Francis and his companions settled…

> Listen to the first episode, “Francis, son of Assisi”

→ READ: Saint Francis of Assisi, an unconditional love of Creation

Saint-Damien, the conversion of Francis of Assisi

After childhood, in the district of Piazza del Comune, after the war, prison, illness, convalescence and an aborted chivalric expedition, François assisted his father in his trade in fabrics. He leads a joyous life with his companions of the youth of Assisi. But he is dissatisfied, he feels made for something else, even if he doesn’t really know why… Different stages, experienced between 1205 and 1208, will lead him to change his life. At the heart of his conversion, two major episodes: his meeting with a leper and the call he says he heard through the crucifix of the church of Saint Damien. Listen to the second report from the Serie.

> Listen to the second episode, “Saint-Damien, the conversion of Francis of Assisi”

Rivotorto, the beginnings of Franciscan life

Then comes the time of uncertainty as to the path to take to respond to God’s call. A new step is taken during the counting: François gives his father money and clothes. From now on he divides his time between prayer, work and the service of lepers. On February 24, 1208, at the Portiuncula church, his vocation became clearer. Then, he moved into a cabin, which became the sanctuary of Rivotorto, below Assisi. This is where the third report from the series “In Assisi, in the footsteps of Saint Francis”.

> Listen to the third episode, “Rivotorto, the beginnings of Franciscan life”

→ READ: Francis of Assisi, master of wonder and simplicity

Franciscan life at the Portiuncula

Three kilometers from the center of Assisi, the huge Basilica of Our Lady of the Angels houses the small Church of the Portiuncula, where Francis stayed shortly after his conversion and where he returned to live with his companions after their stay. in Rivotorto. Today it is a majestic place, but the saint from Assisi led a life of poverty there. It is also there that he died, singing, it is said. It is the place of fourth number of this series of reports.

> Listen to the fourth episode, “The Franciscan life at the Portiuncula”

The Carceri hermitage, Francis between contemplative life and preaching

Throughout his life, Francis of Assisi needed spaces and moments of retreat, of silence, of privileged times of encounter with God. He even had the temptation to withdraw completely. It is this tension between contemplative life and preaching in the life of Saint Francis of Assisi that the fifth reportat the Carceri hermitage.

> Listen to the fifth episode, “The Carceri hermitage, Francis between contemplative life and preaching”

Saint Clare, at the origins of the second Franciscan order

In 1212 Francis welcomed Saint Clare and founded with her the Order of the Poor Ladies, which would become the Poor Clare sisters, in reference to their patron saint. Claire Offreducio is a revolutionary woman: from the nobility, she left a comfortable life at the age of 18 to marry poverty in the footsteps of Saint Francis. Woman, at a time when men decided everything, she was the first to write a religious rule. In this sixth reportwe are going to meet him.

> Listen to the sixth episode, “Saint Clare, at the origins of the second Franciscan order”

→ READ: The Poor Clares of Poligny, the radiance of a monastery

“Welcome my sister death”

During the last years of his life, Francis of Assisi was weakened by illness and almost blind. It is however a rich period of the existence of the Poverellowith the “invention” of the Christmas crib in Greccio in 1223, then the stigmata of the crucifixion, which appeared on his body after 40 days of fasting in September 1225. It was at this time that he composed the Canticle creatures, with a last verse dedicated to “sister death” which he adds shortly before his own death on October 3, 1226. This is what the seventh report.

> Listen to the seventh episode, “Welcome my sister death”

The Basilica of Saint Francis in Assisi

From 1230, four years after his death, the body of Francis of Assisi was transferred to the basilica built in his memory. Since then, pilgrims have never stopped coming to gather at the tomb of the saint and admire the frescoes by Giotto in the upper basilica. This is what we find in the eighth report.

> Listen to the eighth episode, “The Basilica of Saint Francis in Assisi”

Following Francis in Assisi today

Peace and joy: two key words to describe the life and message of Saint Francis. At the end of our pilgrimage, the ninth report invites us to discover how, in Assisi today, men and women find in Franciscan spirituality a modern support for living their faith.

> Listen to the ninth episode, “Following Francis in Assisi today”

In Assisi, in the footsteps of Saint Francis | RCF