Sunday, June 20, 2010

Barefoot Pilgrim in Assisi

the old road to Assisi from the train station

outside the Basilica of St. Francis

tomb of St. Francis

the view from the Basilica of St. Claire

resting at San Damiano

the tomb of St. Claire
At 7:43 this morning I took the train to Assisi. By 10:15 we were already at the Assisi train station which was still 3 km to the old town. Instead of taking the bus, I just walked up. It was quite cold when I reached the Basilica of St. Francis and was in time for the mass. After the mass, I prayed before the tomb of St. Francis. I prayed for his intercession -that I will be able to run/walk barefoot on the Camino de Santiago in Spain next month - following his example.
After the mass, I walked around the town of Assisi - visiting the Basilica of St. Clare and the church/convent of San Damiano. Walking barefoot on the streets of Assisi was very pleasant, the pavement was smooth - except the rough road to San Damiano. I was very conscious of the fact that this was the same road that Francis and his followers walked on - barefoot.
I visited the room where St. Clare died and also her tomb. I prayed for a very special intention, remembering a special friend who is now in a Poor Clare monastery very far away and whom I have not seen for over 5 years.
It rained in the afternoon but I kept on walking around town. At 4 pm, I walked back to the train station to catch the last train back to Rome.
Being in Assisi brought back memories of the last time I was here - in 1994. Instead of taking the train from Rome to Assisi, I walked for six days carrying a backpack and tent, sleeping under the stars at night, and reaching Assisi on the Feast of St. Clare. I slept at the doorstep of the basilica of St. Clare that night and the following day took the train back to Rome. It was after that experience that I dreamed of walking on the Camino de Santiago de Compostela someday. This dream will become a reality next month.


Kiwi Nomad 2008 said...

Thanks for sharing your journey. I remember a day I had in Assisi well, because a storm arrived, and I ran down the hill from up above the town while lightning flashed and rain poured down. Somehow it seemed to me like the spirit of Francis lived on in the very stones above the town. (And I am a very lapsed Catholic saying that...)
I look forward to reading more when you are on the Camino.

Nonie said...

Hi Ding!
Nice to hear from you. Take care and God bless. Regards from all of us.

Liezl PGB said...

Thanks for sharing, Father. I've been following your blog. We missed hearing your homily at Redem Bajada. God bless you always.