Day Two, April 12

After a restful night’s sleep (for most of the pilgrims) and breakfast, we walked the short distance from our hotel to the Basilica of St. Mary of Angels for mass. Inside this huge church is the Porziuncola (a small church that was the headquarters for St. Francis and his order). Also located nearby within the large church is the Cappella del Transito where he died in 1226.

After mass, Jeff spoke about simplicity, explaining that it is not achieved by organizing our outer world, rather it comes by developing an inward relationship with Christ.

Next we walked through the picturesque old city of Assisi, visiting the Church of St. Clare, the main square and then to the Basilica of St. Francis, another huge church. This one is two levels, with the remains of St. Francis in a crypt below the church. The frescos on the walls depict the life of St. Francis and also the parallels between his life and Christ’s. After lunch and a bit of shopping, we visited the Hermitage, where St. Francis and his followers retreated to pray in solitude on the slopes of Mt. Subiaso. The main complex is built around the cave of St. Francis and was quite an experience for us to squeeze through the tiny doorways. We strolled through the woods along a path to a place where we stopped to meditate before returning to the hotel for dinner.