Beyond Assisi - Franciscan Places Rarely Seen

For many years, alumni pilgrims have asked for “more”.  Beyond Assisi is a response to this request. 

This fourteen day pilgrimage will take the participant to many areas of Italy that have produced faithful followers of SS. Francis and Clare and have strongly influenced the development and history of the Franciscan movement.

This is a very exciting and life enhancing pilgrimage, affording the participant a wonderful experience of outstanding beauty and serenity of central Italy.  Rome and Assisi will be the anchor points of the pilgrimage.

Tentative Daily Schedule

May 17 - 31, 2019  Fifteen Days. The following pilgrimage is based on the previous year's schedule. The final pilgrimage may undergo slight modification to accommodate sanctuary schedules.

Day1

Departure for your pilgrimage to Bella Italia, beautiful Italy!

Day 2

Arriving in Rome we take a coach bus to Santa Maria degli Angeli to begin a pilgrimage to Franciscan places rarely seen. When he was dying, St. Francis said, “I have done what is mine to do; may the Lord show you what is yours.” Beyond Assisi will explore the places where Franciscan saints and blesseds enfleshed these words in the generations following the death of Francis. After we’ve settled into our air-conditioned quarters at Domus Pacis, a short walk from the Portiuncola, there will be an orientation followed by cena (supper).                 

Day 3

We approach this day as one of peace and reconciliation. We will travel to Gubbio, famous for the story of Francis taming a ferocious wolf and for the Sentiero Francescano della Pace, the path that Francis took from Assisi to Gubbio after renouncing his family. We will visit the Church of San Francesco built at the site of the home of Francis’ friend, Federico Spadalunga. We will begin with a lecture on “Reconciliation,” followed by the Eucharist, both at the Church of St. Francis in Gubbio. After a picnic pranzo, the bus departs for the brief ride to La Vittorina, the chapel and site of Francis’ encounter with the wolf and where he worked with the lepers of Gubbio. At La Vittorina there will be a prayer service on peace and reconciliation. We will then travel to the Abbey of San Verecondo in Vallingegno, the site where Francis worked in the scullery of the Benedictine monks on his way to Gubbio. Cena will be at Domus Pacis.

Day 4

Today’s focus is on two Franciscan women, Blessed Angelina of Montegiove and the mystic, Saint Angela of Foligno. After breakfast, we depart for Foligno and the Monastery of Sant’Anna for a lecture on “Blessed Angelina of Montegiove,” followed by Eucharist in the chapel where she is buried. Pranzo will be back at Domus Pacis. In the afternoon we return to Foligno and the Church of San Francesco for a lecture on “Saint Angela of Foligno,” followed by a prayer service. Before departing Foligno, we will walk to the Piazza della Repubblica for a prayerful reading of the account of the young Francis selling his father’s horse and bolts of cloth in Foligno to pay for the restoration of the dilapidated church of San Damiano. Cena will be at Domus Pacis.

Day 5

Today we depart for the hill town of Cortona under the Tuscan sun to celebrate two controversial early Franciscans, St. Margaret of Cortona and Brother Elias, intimate friend of St. Francis, architect of the Basilica of St. Francis, and General Minister at the time of Francis’ death. Upon arrival there will be an historical visit to the Church of Santa Margherita followed by Eucharist near her tomb. We will picnic for our pranzo on the shores of a lovely lake where St. Francis spent Lent of 1211, Lago Trasimeno. In the afternoon we make our way to the Church of San Francesco where Brother Elias is buried, for a lecture on the “Rehabilitation of Brother Elias” and a prayer service. We return to Domus Pacis for a lecture on “Blessed Jacopone da Todi” followed by cena.

Day 6

In the morning we depart for the ancient Umbrian city of Todi to visit the shrine of Blessed Jacopone da Todi, the famous 13th century Franciscan poet and composer of Lauds. There will be an historical visit to the tomb of Blessed Jacopone in Todi’s Church of San Fortunato, followed by Eucharist at Jacopone’s tomb. We return to Domus Pacis for pranzo. In the afternoon we travel to Monteripido in Perugia, to the shrine honoring Brother Giles, one of the first companions of Francis. Upon arrival there will be a lecture on “Brother Giles and His Writings” and a visit of this sanctuary. The bus will return to Domus Pacis for cena.

Day 7

Today we return to the theme of solitude and one of Francis’ writings that issued from his time in solitude on La Verna. We depart for the mountain hermitage above the city of Spoleto called Monteluco. Here both Francis and Anthony of Lisbon/Padua lived for a time. An historical visit to the “Sacred Woods,” a holy site since ancient Roman times, and sanctuary, we will celebrate Eucharist in the chapel of San Antonio. At noon there will be a lecture on “Francis and Clare: Communicating the Word,” followed by a picnic lunch and time for solitude in the woods. The bus will return to Domus Pacis for cena.

Day 8

Today will be completely free for you to visit and reconnect with your favorite sanctuaries of Saints Francis and Clare in Assisi.

Day 9

Today we leave for Rome by way of the Lo Speco di Narni, one of St. Francis’ hermitage caves south of Assisi, where the friars still live the rhythm of St. Francis’ Document on Solitude. We will celebrate Eucharist in the hermitage chapel, after which there will be time for prayerful solitude, followed by a picnic lunch in the woods. After lunch, the bus departs for Casa Tra Noi in Rome, our air-conditioned hotel a short walk from Vatican City. Cena will be at the hotel.

Day 10

Today we travel to Celano in the beautiful Abruzzi area of Italy east of Rome. At the friary we will have a lecture on the “Theology of Thomas of Celano,” Francis’ first biographer, in a conference room followed by Eucharist celebrating the life of Blessed Thomas. Making our way to Tagliacozzo, where Blessed Thomas’ tomb is venerated in the Church of San Francesco, we will enjoy a pranzo at Hotel Marina and then make our way back to Rome. There will be an early evening lecture on St. Bonaventure in preparation for the next day, followed by an evening out one one’s own in ancient Rome.

Day 11

Today we make our way to Viterbo, an ancient Etruscan city and the birthplace in 1233 of St. Rose of Viterbo, a Secular Franciscan who is celebrated as a mystic, healer, and a great street-preacher in the tradition of the first followers of Francis. Upon arrival in Viterbo, an historical visit of her shrine and tomb will be followed by Eucharist in the intimate chapel at the Family House of St. Rose. Our coach will return us to Rome where pranzo will be out on one’s own, with free time to visit some sites in the Eternal City. Cena is back at Casa Tra Noi. This

Day 12

Today we pilgrimage to Bagnoregio, the birthplace of Giovanni di Fidanza—St. Bonaventure, the Seraphic Doctor. On arrival we will take a brief break, enjoying the breathtaking view, and will take the walk-bridge to “Civita,” the ancient city on the hill, for an historical visit to what remains of Bonaventure’s family home. We will have a prayer service in the original “Cathedral of San Donato” where Bonaventure was baptized, and then enjoy pranzo at a nearby restaurant. We will board the bus and make our way to Viterbo, an ancient Etruscan city and the birthplace in 1233 of St. Rose of Viterbo, learning more enroute about this Secular Franciscan who is celebrated as a mystic, healer and a great street-preacher in the tradition of the first followers of Francis. Upon arrival there will be an historical visit of her shrine and tomb followed by Eucharist in the intimate chapel at the Family House of St. Rose. Our bus returns to Casa Tra Noi for cena and a well-deserved rest.

Day 13

We depart Rome for Anagni, where St. Clare was canonized by Pope Alexander IV in 1255. Upon arrival, we will enjoy a break in the city and then make our way to the Cathedral of Santa Maria, enjoy an historical visit and then celebrate Eucharist in the Caetani Chapel, an ancient chapel in the Cathedral, where we will recall Clare’s canonization using the words of Pope Alexander IV in his papal bull “Clara, Claris, Praeclara.” We will then make our way to the Palace of Boniface VIII, where we will enjoy our picnic lunch and then learn about “The Four Popes” born in Anagni, all of whom are connected to the Franciscan story: Innocent III (1198-1216), Gregory IX (1227-1241), Alexander IV (1254-1261), and Boniface VIII (1294-1303). It was Bishop Federico Visconti of Anagni who formally petitioned Rome for Clare’s canonization. Returning to Rome there will be time for leisure, and cena will be served at Casa Tra Noi.

Day 14

In the morning we make our way to St. Bonaventure on the Palatine Hill in Rome, praying the Stations of the Cross as we walk, recalling this devotion popularized by St. Leonard of Port Maurice whose tomb we will visit. St. Leonard is also considered the founder of the Franciscan tradition of parish missions. After an historical visit we will celebrate Eucharist and then return to Casa Tra Noi for pranzo. In the afternoon we will make our way to St. Bartholomew Church, located on an island in the Tiber River, close to Trastevere, where we will have a unique opportunity to recall several modern day saints, each of whom were responsible for passing on the traditions of their own charism. There we will pray a “Litany of Saints,” and then make our way to a restaurant located across from San Francesco A Ripa for a festive meal celebrating our time together Beyond Assisi!.

Day 15

Arrivederci Bella Italia!

 

2019 May 17- 31 Pilgrimage cost includes: pensioni that is clean, comfortable, secure and well located; three meals per day with few exceptions; transportation by air-conditioned coach; all tips, offerings and sanctuary fees; books, notebooks, full services of staff; daily input with lectures and conferences. Snacks and shopping not included.
Pilgrimage Program
15 days
$4100
Land Only
Air Fare Additional Cost:
Call the Pilgrimage Office to Schedule your flights
Single Room +$400