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  • Writer's pictureBrother Alan

Br. Nicholas's pilgrimage to Assisi

“Having arrived via Rome, I visited All Saints Anglican Church there and did some local sight-seeing in and around the Vatican. After two full days in the Eternal City I arrived at Assisi. Thanks be to God, the snow stopped falling the week before.”


“The good Sisters at the Casa di Santa Brigida provided a warm and pleasant room plus a wonderful view of the city and Basilica of Saint Francis. It was heavenly.”

“It was a spiritual time for reflection, contemplation and prayerful solitude. One of many highlights was the warm afternoon spent visiting San Damiano and while there reading the Canticle of the Creatures in the very place Saint Francis not only wrote it, but rebuilt it with his own hands. Saint Clare lived for over 42 years never leaving San Damiano. There is nothing in this most holy place which does not speak of poverty and prayer, a place to search for God alone. San Damiano is the symbol of true Franciscanism.

An oasis of peace and holy simplicity walking the steep, dark stairs to the oratory and dormitory of Saint Clare and her companions. A simple wooden cross hangs over the place where she had her bed.”

“I also visited the Chapel of the Crucifix in the Basilica of Saint Clare. To see and pray before this most sacred image which by tradition spoke to Saint Francis it was a spiritual moment of great joy and tears of true humility. I visited the Church of San Leonardo the Anglican church in Assisi and took morning coffee sitting in the Piazza Del Comune (the Town Hall Square). To the right of the coffee shop stands the 1st c.Temple of Minerva now a church. One of my favorite places of prayer was the Chiesa Nuova (New Church) built in 1615 by the king of Spain, Philip III. It was built on the site of St Francis' paternal home and within walking distance from the Oratario di San Francisco Piccolino a small stone stable where he was born.”

“It was a pleasure to meet with several groups of American college students, who were surprised to know that the Anglican/Episcopal Church also has Franciscans and yes even says the Rosary. It was a joy to pray the Rosary of the Blessed Mother with them that evening before their departure.”

On to Paris

“I attended Eucharist at the American Cathedral of the Holy Trinity on the Avenue George V and met the new Dean. The Cathedral was truly beautiful and it was good to hear the service in English! One of my treasured moments was the Friday service in Notre-Dame de Paris and to see and pray before the Relics of the Passion which includes: a piece of the Cross of Christ, a nail of the Passion and the Crown of Thorns. There is no doubt that the Holy Crown is the most precious and most revered. These relics were brought to France and solemnly welcomed in Paris by King Louis IX (Saint Louis) in 1239. He later had a most wonderful reliquary built for them: the Sainte Chapelle. After the French Revolution they were given to the Dean of Notre-Dame Cathedral.”

“It was a blessing to pray and remember all of you during those days of retreat. I pray you peace and joy.”


Brother Nicholas, OSF

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