Monday, December 29, 2014


Assissi is the birthplace of St. Francis, who founded the Franciscan religious order 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 St. Gabriel of Our Lady of Sorrows was also born in Assisi.

Now the site of many a pilgrimage, Assisi is linked in legend with its native son, St. Francis. The gentle saint founded the Franciscan order and shares honors with St Catherine of Siena as the patron saint of Italy.  He is remembered by many, even non-Christians, as a lover of nature (his preaching to an audience of birds is one of the legends of his life).

Looking at Rose Window at Basilica of St. Francis.

This is a man President knew 45 years ago when he was serving in Italy.  He lives near Assisi and teaches at a university there.

Nativity next to Basilica of St. Francis

This is a picture of Mary and the baby Jesus with St. Francis on the left and John the Beloved on the right.  Legend has it that when Jesus was asked which of the two saints he preferred most, Mary indicated with her thumb that it should be St. Francis.

Original public bath in Assisi.  If you bathed without clothes, there was a huge fine.

Temple of Minerva

Only President could get excited about a potato nativity.

Duomo of Assisi

The castle sits on the very top of the mountain in Assisi.

View of basilica from castle above

At one time St. Francis' father had him chained in the basement of their house that used to be at this same location because he was preaching things his father didn't agree with.

Basilica of St. Francis at night.

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