The town of Assisi in Umbria is a fascinating place to view Franciscan sites in the Perugia region of Umbria. Assisi is a UNESCO World Heritage site in Italy.
Assisi is the birth and burial place of St. Francis, founder of the Franciscan order. The Franciscans take the vow of poverty. St. Francis and St. Catherine are the patron saints of Italy. Assisi is located at the foot of Mount Subasio. This medieval city is built on a hill. It is closely associated with disseminating the work of the Franciscan Order throughout the world; the universal message of peace and tolerance. Assisi was also the birthplace of Saint Clare in Perugia.
Assisi’s most cherished monument is the Basilica of St. Francis. Giotto and Cimabue have painted frescoes on the walls and ceilings. In the Gothic upper basilica, Giotto’s 28 panels of frescoes where painted in the late 1290s and depict the life of Saint Francis. Cimabue’s frescoes are in the transept, cross vaults and apses.
In the lower basilica thee are more masterpieces from the Florentine and Sienese Schools of the 1300s including Simone Martini and Pietro Lorenzetti. Y0u can visit the crypt which is the resting place of Saint Francis. You can also visit the cloister and the Museum of the Treasury.
“Its medieval ensemble of artistic masterpieces, such as the Basilica of San Francesco and paintings by Cimabue, Pietro Lorenzetti, Simone Martini and Giotto have significantly contributed to the development of Italian and European art and architecture.” UNESCO
St. Francis (1182-1226) was canonized by Pope Gregory IX on July 16, 1228. The basilica was founded in 1228 after his canonization. Completed in 1253, it has an upper church and a lower church and is frequently visited by religious pilgrims from around the world. The frescoed basilica is a monument to St. Francis. The Franciscans offer free guided tours in English.
The Basilica contains some of the most celebrated frescos in Italy created by pre-Renaissance masters like Giotto and Cimabue. Frescos in the upper church of the Basilica include “The Ecstasy of St. Francis” by Giotto. There are 28 panels that celebrate the legacy of the revered St. Francis of Assisi.
The Prayer of Saint Francis
“Lord, make me an instrument of your peace.
Where there is hatred, let me sow love;
where there is injury, pardon;
where there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light;
and where there is sadness, joy.
O Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek
to be consoled as to console;
to be understood as to understand;
to be loved as to love.
For it is in giving that we receive;
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned;
and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life. Amen”
Dr. EveAnn Lovero writes Travel Guides. To learn more about Italy read www.vino-con-vista.com