Skip to comments.(Pope Francis) PASTORAL VISIT TO ASSISI - October 4 - Live Coverage on EWTN
Posted on 10/03/2013 3:08:23 PM PDT by NYer
I spent the weekend in Assisi, a town I love more and more with each visit. One of the reasons I was there was to see how the hometown of St. Francis had been preparing for the visit of Pope Francis on Friday, October 4.
The trip will be significant, even historic, for several reasons but one is outstanding: Pope Francis has never been to Assisi in his entire life! This may explain what he wants to visit every important site that he can in this beautiful and ancient Umbrian town. Well re-visit his itinerary in coming days and you will be able to follow every papal word and deed and footstep taken on EWTN on Friday.
Pope John XXIII, to be canonized with John Paul II on April 27, 2014, visited Assisi in 1962.
Assisi is only a few days away from almost closing down entirely but this past weekend there was a huge number of pilgrims, churches were filled, posters announced the papal visit, and souvenir shops filled their windows with trinkets and a few more costly items made just for the occasion.
I walked great distances both Saturday and Sunday and, serendipitously, became part of several beautiful Masses.
As I exited the basilica Saturday afternoon, bells began to toll and I did this video.
Afterwards I participated in a procession and attended Mass celebrated by Bishop Sigismondo of Foligno for a group of pilgrims from Rivotorto, a very small town of just over 1200 souls. It seemed to me that at least half of RivoTorto had joined the bishop for the four-kilometer walk to Assisi where there was a procession into the basilica, with the singing of the litany of saints. Mass was packed and standing room only in the lower basilica.
This video shows the procession that started in the lower square of St. Francis basilica it is here that the papal mass will be celebrated Friday morning. As I taped the procession (I did not notice the sounds the wind was making), I decided to join the pilgrimage!
I also attended Mass Sunday morning at noon in the upper basilica. A choir of Italian Alpini provided some of the loveliest music I have heard in church in some time. I had a video of just a few seconds at the end of Mass wish I had taped their entire final song!
The Alpini, that is, mountain troops, are an elite mountain military corps of the Italian Army. Established in 1872, the Alpini are the oldest active mountain infantry in the world.
This is the main town square in Assisi. We see city hall decorated with flags and posters announcing the Popes visit and, to the right, the former temple of Minerva, now a church, Santa Maia sopra Minerva.
This 13th century fresco by Giotto depicts those same buildings in the main square.
The diocesan website clearly outlines what events are planned for the Popes visit, has a map of the papal itinerary and the diocese offers passes to anyone who requests up to 9 a person. Passes are colored and allow the owner to go where only that pass is valid to San Ruffino, to the basilica of St. Francis, to Santa Maria deli Angeli, and so on.
A friar who is well connected.
Road blocks will be set up throughout this hilly town and will be stringently enforced everywhere, especially along the route to be taken by the Holy Father. But guess wbo will be the first to break with protocol and police guidelines!
The platform for the altar and papal Mass is under construction, as are stands, etc., at some of the venues where mega-screens will transmit images of each papal venue. At the moment only a handful of such screens are planned Santa Maria degli Angeli, San Ruffino, outside St. Francis basilica and one or two other places.
One taxi driver told me that he and many other townspeople have no idea where Assisi will put all the people expected to attend a minimum of 100,000 as I write. He said that after 911, there was a march for peace and 100,000 people came to Assisi and many tens of thousands ended up in the fields at the foothills of the town. None of the spaces we are talking about is a huge venue - the biggest being the area in front of and adjacent to Santa Maria degli Angeli. And, given the hilly nature of Assisi, one might be physically near the basilica but not be able to see the Pope, except on a giant screen.
Add to this crowd the 1500 accreited members of the media!
Pope Francis will be at Santa Maria degli Angeli twice on Friday for lunch with some of the poor helped by Caritas in Assisi and later in the afternoon for a private visit to the church and the Porziuncula. In part the Franciscans are a little disappointed that the Pope will not be dining with them at their refectory at the basilica (where I had lunch in July with Bishop Robert Baker, if you recall) but on the other hand, lunch with the poor is precisely what St. Francis himself would have done. And isnt this why the Holy Father chose the name he did!
So Assisi is getting ready. Assisians are ready for the onslaught of faithful and the presence of Pope Francis, the other Francis.
Here are some photos I took of the basilica and lower piazza at night stupendous!
PASTORAL VISIT TO ASSISI - HOLY MASS
10/04 at 4:15 AM ET, 5:30 PM ET
His Holiness Pope Francis celebrates Holy Mass in Piazza San Francesco.
Assisi, is a town and comune of Italy in the province of Perugia in the Umbria region, on the western flank of Monte Subasio. It was the birthplace of St. Francis, who founded the Franciscan religious order in the town in 1208, and St. Clare (Chiara d'Offreducci), the founder of the Poor Sisters, which later became the Order of Poor Clares after her death. The 19th-century Saint Gabriel of Our Lady of Sorrows was also born in Assisi.
This is indeed a very small Italian village; one that is close to my heart for it is here that my prayer for a child, was answered. Those who have visited Assisi, never forget it. If you have not had the opportunity to do so, take this short YouTube tour.
Saint Francis and Noah are my two heroes.
Kinda remind me of when Michael Corlone fled back to Italy with those buildings in Godfather 1 and 3
This is where I stayed when I visited. Due to its central location, you can walk to most of the important sites. There are also buses to take you up to Mt. Subasio. In Assisi, one finds peace ... true peace. It is one of the few places in Italy where you will also hear the chirping of birds. Take a look at the photographs on the following link.
The one suggestion I will make in planning your future trip is to avoid the month of August when Italy shuts down for summer vacation. The roads are packed with families headed off to the beaches and even in Umbria, it can be a challenge to find a room. On the drive to Assisi, we passed several private homes with signs advertising a room to rent. Otherwise, start packing your bags, order some brochures and a map. Set a date and make it your goal. You will not regret it!
Thanks NYer, I’m going to talk to my wife about this.