The Paths exceed the pre

«It is certainly a very significant edition: first of all because it is the first since the pandemic, with the return of many friends and brothers from various parts of Italy and also of Europe. All with the great desire to make this journey once again in the footsteps of Francis, retrace this history of newness, reconciliation, liberation, fraternity and also with the desire to live – in the simplicity of these days – new friendships and a time of immersion in creation “. The bishop of Gubbio, Msgr. Luciano Paolucci Bedini, summarizes in these words the three intense days of the fourteenth edition of the Path of Francis, the pilgrimage that started from Assisi on September 1st and arrived in Gubbio on Saturday 3rd, after having crossed the village of Valfabbrica. At the Gubbio park of Reconciliation that embraces the church of Santa Maria della Vittorina, dozens of pilgrims on their way arrive with songs of joy. Not even the pouring rain of recent days has discouraged them. There are children, families, those who are used to walking alone and this time discover the beauty of sharing, those who are experienced hikers and those who are just starting out and discover the path right on the Via di Francesco. To welcome and greet them there is also the mayor of Gubbio, Filippo Stirati, who once again underlined the importance of the journey and the contribution to the Franciscan identity that comes from the city of Gubbio.

Wolf Prize of Gubbio The “Lupo di Gubbio” Prize for reconciliation is awarded to the Confraternity of San Jacopo di Compostella, which is based in Perugia and welcomes pilgrims in various hostels along the Francigena, the Camino de Santiago and the Via di Francesco. For some years, on the Franciscan path, the diocese of Gubbio has entrusted – precisely to the Confraternity – the Hermitage of San Pietro in Vigneto. Here is the reason for the award: ‘For the fraternal spirituality and the generous welcome that the volunteers offer and share with the pilgrims walking along the streets of San Francesco, San Giacomo and along the Francigena, supporting them with simplicity in their path of reconciliation with themselves themselves, with the brothers, with God and with Creation ‘.

Compostela Brotherhood The Giampietro Rampini ceramist from Gubbio condensed all this into the majolica delivered by Bishop Luciano to the historian Paolo Caucci von Saucken and to some volunteers of the Compostela Brotherhood. «We interpret this award – commented prof. Caucci – as a very precise sign: the Bishop, the diocese and the city of Gubbio want to give an impulse to welcoming people on this pilgrimage route. Welcome and hospitality are fundamental because the hospitium is the place where pilgrims are hosted as welcome people, as people to be welcomed as if they were at home. Faced with the great events that we have in the coming years, especially with the Franciscan anniversaries, the great Roman jubilee and a new Compostelan holy year, I believe that this award means the need to strengthen the structure of the hospitales, because it is necessary to do so “.

The Francesco’s way is recovering Pilgrims on the Via di Francesco are growing: this year they will exceed the pre-pandemic numbers, also according to the reception data at the hermitage of San Pietro in Vigneto outlined by the Confraternity. «In these days in Santiago de Compostela – says Caucci – the pilgrim number 300 thousand this year has arrived and not all are registered, practically about 400 thousand pilgrims have already arrived on foot. This determines a consequence in all fields, even in tourism, given that the hotels of Santiago de Compostela in the month of August were at 90-95% of occupancy. So it is not only a religious phenomenon but also a social, economic, political and anthropological phenomenon because we are seeing that the types of pilgrims also change. They are not always the same, the ages change, they are seasonal, in summer they are younger and in spring they are more mature: a very interesting phenomenon. On the Via di Francesco – continues the historian and rector of the Perugia Confraternity – an already very motivated pilgrim arrives, who seeks St. Francis mainly and through the Saint obviously seeks God, spirituality and interiority, so there is already a choice upstream “. The 2022 edition of the Sentiero di Francesco ended, as usual, with mass in the church of San Francesco in Gubbio, presided over by Bishop Paolucci Bedini.

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The Paths exceed the pre-pandemic numbers: the pilgrims of the path of Francis arrived in Gubbio