After a week of intensive works of the Chapter members, they took a break: the Lord also "ceased on the seventh day of all his work" (Gen 2:2).
The General Secretary – Fr. Giuseppe Moni – had organized a pilgrimage to Assisi for this Sunday, as planned. Departure at 6.30 am. During the bus journey of about two hours, we crossed the Tiber several times, which then flows to Rome; we passed for Narni, where St. Joseph Calasanz drafted the rules of his order, Todi, a city known for the poet and blessed Jacopone da Todi and his passionate devotion to Jesus crucified (which gave us among other laude the Stabat Mater), as well as for the famous shrine of St. Mary of Consolation; the shrine of Merciful Love, which reminded us of the famous and successful meeting of the Italian Cavanis in the year 2009.
In Assisi we park near the church and convent (delightful) of San Damiano, where Francis began to restore the church of God with stones, as a building, before committing to restore the universal Church with the evangelical spirit. We celebrated the Sunday Eucharist together by praying for the whole congregation, the elderly and young, seminarians and novices, priests and laity, of all territorial parts where we belong. And for Pope Francis, who chose precisely this name for himself, to follow the example of Francis of Assisi. We also did so at his request, as he had written to us in his long telegram, signed the Card. Parolin.
For the Institute we prayed, at the suggestion of the president of the celebration, that it would preserve the virtues of poverty and humility, so loved by Francis and our Founders.
After Mass, a Franciscan OFM father introduced us to the visit of the church and the convent, leaving us also a beautiful Franciscan message, also valid for us all. Then we freely visited these environments, I would say with tenderness. Later, in the visitation of the medieval city, we revered St. Clare in his basilica (the sunday mass in progress prevented us from doing so), and St. Francis in his imposing and splendid three-story basilica, praying long around his tomb dug instone.
We enjoyed the (absolutely splendid) jodit cycle of the life scenes of St. Francis, the probably authentic portrait of Cimabue, with little Francis next to a great scene of Mary on the throne; and again the delightful portrait of St. Clare by Simone Martini. Then each visited other places, monuments and churches: the walls and doors, who the cathedral of St. Rufino, who St. Mary Major, who St. Mary over Minerva and so on; then all together with the Porziuncola, to St. Mary of the Angels.
Finally, everyone left home, crossing the Tiberina Valley and circling mount Soratte, while reciting rosaries in various languages. Tomorrow the work resumes, this time in working groups or workshops.