Yesterday, we had the great blessing of visiting Assisi. We were at the Portuincula where St. Francis understood his vocation and founded the Order of the Minor Friars in 1209 and where St. Clare offered her life in consecration. What a great inspiration this was in our own vocational journey! Also, we visited the Basilica of St. Clare. We prayed before the body of St. Clare and the original crucifix of St. Damian that spoke to Francis. After that, we went to his family’s house Chiesa Nuova, to the Cathedral of St. Rufino where Francis and Clare were baptized, and to the plaza where he renounced his family’s possessions to radically follow Jesus.
Later, we continue our pilgrimage to a beautiful mountain (el monte Subiaco) there he found the “eremo delle carceri” where Francis retreated himself to pray with his friars. The beauty we encountered in nature there truly made us connect with ourselves and the presence of God hidden in all of creation. This experience reminded us of the joy of fraternal life that we very living in this pilgrimage in a special way. Thereafter, we visited the church of St. Damian that Francis restored and where Clare lived and died. We united our hearts with that of Francis in praising God in the canticle of the creatures and in realizing God’s deeper call for peace. Lastly, we went to the Basilica of St. Francis where the conventual friars live. There we spend some time in prayer before the tomb of St. Francis praying for our fidelity in our vocation, our families, for the world, the Church, and our Claretian sisters in this special time of renewal through the provincial chapters.
After finishing this pilgrimage, in our hearts remains the deep desire to be faithful to our vocation and to the unique way in which the Lord invites us to answer to His call. We want to unite ourselves with nature in such a way that we see a brother and a sister in all of creation. That we can become true channels of peace just as Francis, did not expecting for his surroundings to change but to allow God to transform him first. Together with Francis and Clare, and through the intercession of our founders, we pray to God for our provincial chapters and for the fidelity of our sisters to the gifts received from God. Greetings from Rome!
Friska, Asti, and Ivette