Places on the Way with Francis

Built into the rock and wrapped in the woods of the four Franciscan sanctuaries are a testament to the way of Franciscan spirituality and a hymn to the beauty of nature. They can be reached by taking the "Walk with Francis" a journey of about 60 km, entirely covered on foot, horseback, mountain bike or by car.
The Sanctuary of Greccio
dates back, in its oldest part, at the time of the preaching of Francis. At Christmas 1223 I represented the Holy Nativity of the Redeemer, for the first time in the Christian tradition, with human figures and animals living. In the Chapel of the Nativity, above the altar, is a fifteenth-century fresco recalling the episode. From the chapel leads to the cell where Francis went to bed on the bare rock. On the first floor there is the old dormitory (1260-1270) composed of bare wood cells.
The Sanctuary of Fonte Colombo:
Here in 1223 the Holy dictated the strict Rule of the Order. In 1225 he stopped again in the woods of Fonte Colombo to undergo a delicate eye operation. The monastery complex consists of a square onto which the church was consecrated in 1450 and the convent in part XV. Further down you will find the hermitage of S. Francis and the Chapel of Mary Magdalene (XIII). The visit ended with the Sacro Speco, where Francis had a vision of Christ that confirmed the rule.
The Sanctuary of Poggio Bustone:
"Good day, good people," with these words in the autumn of 1208 the young Francis greets residents of Poggio Bustone, one of the villages from which began preaching in the Rieti Valley. Isolated among the green forests, was founded in 1235 and retains the cloister 1237.Il octagonal pillars and columns of

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thirteenth-century convent. You can also visit the refectory, with frescoed walls, and the Speco inhabited by St. Francis. Climbing on M. Rosato, 1075 meters high, you can stop at the Hermitage, the favorite residence of the saint, where there is a thirteenth-century church and a chapel of the seventeenth century with contemporary frescoes.
The Forest Sanctuary:
according to tradition, in the peace of these hills, the Holy compose the Canticle of the Creatures. The visit to the monastery includes the Church of St. Fabiano, painted in the fifteenth century., And incorporated in 1600 in the Church of St. Mary. The refectory still contains the tank in which the saint performed the miracle of the grape.
The Temple of St. Francis - M. Terminillo:
In 1939 Pope Pius XII declared St. Francis Patron Saint of Italy. To celebrate the event, the Franciscan friars decided to build a temple (located 1623 m above sea level) on M. Terminillo. Father Riziero Lanfaloni with constant work, tenacity painful, diligent impertinence, insistent demand, the small rivulets of aid, permits and donations resulted in this great sea. Inside the temple the most precious memory: an urn containing the relics of the body of Francis. Front of the casket is burning a perpetual lamp votive.
The Beech St. Francis of Rivodutri:
the tree is famous for its extraordinary form, with branches interwoven to create sinuous waves and nodes from the incomparable beauty. Tradition says that the plant took this conformation to repair St. Francis by a storm during a solitary mystical retreat. A miracle of nature, a monument was born more than two centuries, the only one on the planet.

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GRECCIO: Bethlehem Franciscan

"Francis loved the hermitage of Greccio, where the brothers were virtuous and poor ..."
The Sanctuary of Greccio is 17 km from Rieti, appears in the eyes of the pilgrim as impressive as it's coming out from the mountain, was built at different times of bold rock pillars. S. Francis arrived at Greccio the first time in 1209, and was fascinated by the place and by the devotion of the people. In 1223, after asking permission from Pope Honorius III, he wanted to represent, for the first time, the Nativity of the Child Jesus, aided by Velita, lord of the posto.Fulcro of the sanctuary is the Chapel of the Nativity, built after the death of Holy and dedicated to St. Lucia. It was built on the site of commemoration and admirable school of Giotto's fresco of the '400 representing the Nativity in Bethlehem and that of Greccio. Continuing are visible refectory, the dormitory with the small cell where the Saint
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resting, sitting and lying on the bare rock. Through a narrow wooden staircase you arrive at the dormitory of S. Bonaventure (1260-70), the small church dedicated to the saint which still preserves the strict stalls, the lectern and the revolving stand to support the choir book and lantern. The roof of the church has a barrel marked by stars and the image of the Angel Pasquale, a fourteenth-century fresco on the walls of the Holy with the angel who announces the forgiveness of sins, a round of the Virgin and Child, by Biagio d 'Antonio, a pupil of Ghirlandaio, and a Deposition from the saints of the fourteenth century. Placed above the altar. Side of the oratory of S. Francis holds the portrait of the saint. Released on the square, as well as enjoying the magnificent view, you can enter the new church built in 1959, which houses a permanent exhibition of nativity scenes.


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FONTE COLOMBO: The Franciscan Sinai

The Sanctuary of Fonte Colombo is 5 km from Rieti and is surrounded by dense vegetation. Its name derives from a source, as seen from S. Francis in 1227 while the white doves were watered, and this suggested the name of Fons Columbarum. Here the saint wrote the definitive Rule, approved by Pope Honorius III in the fall of 1223, here suffered the painful eye operation in 1225, here is the Sacro Speco where the saint retired for forty days to write the Rule and here is dell'elce would appear where the strain Christ our Lord. Upon arrival of Francis, there was only the Chapel of Mary Magdalene with the hermitage, belonging to the Abbey of Farfa.
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The small chapel houses the Tau symbol of the Cross is Christ. Many want to be the work of S. Francis, who chose this letter as its symbol. In the small apse you can admire the frescoes of the Byzantine school, frescoes on the sides of the '300 and '600. The church, dedicated to SS. Francis and Bernardine of Siena, is the banner of Franciscan simplicity, it was consecrated in 1450. Inside there are stained glass windows of the twentieth century, and a high relief wood, I remember the appearance of Jesus Christ when he dictated the Holy Rule. . .


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POGGIO BUSTONE: good morning good people

The Sanctuary of Poggio Bustone was the first place that Francis visited in 1208 when he decided to leave his hometown. Now in Poggio Bustone greeted the people with these words, "Good morning, good people."
Arrived in the square, a path leads us to the Chapel built in part in the '300 and '600 in part, here appeared to St. Francis the angel in the form of a boy who announced the remission of sins, and the expansion of the Order.
On the square, close to the mountain, you can see the Temple of Peace where there is a statue of the saint smiling.


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The church is located on the square in the above, it is dedicated to St. James, a nave with a wooden roof, a tablet within the fourteenth or fifteenth century. depicts Our Lady of Grace and Child with St. Joseph, during the work of 1948, which brought the church to its original appearance, it came to light a seventeenth-century fresco. In the cloister you can see the beautiful Virgin and Child with Tuscan-Umbrian school of the '400 and the paintings of the seventeenth century. reminiscent of scenes from the life of St. Francis. Through a narrow staircase we reach the hermitage that still retains its original appearance. .

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LA FORESTA: the inspiration for the Canticle of the Creatures

Just 4 km from Rieti you can visit the Shrine of St. Maria de La Foresta, where in 1225 St. Francis went, at the request of Cardinal Ugolino, as it were exacerbated his medical condition and needed an eye operation. The Holy decided to stop in the little Church of St. Fabiano to rest and to hide the faithful. The site is linked to two events: the miracle of the grape, recalled in a kiosk in front of the portico of the church, and the composition of the Canticle of the Creatures.

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Un viale, scandito da edicole con maioliche di scuola napoletana, ci conduce al santuario. La piccola Chiesa di S. Fabiano con affreschi del XV sec. è stata inglobata nella Chiesa di S. Maria, costruita successivamente.
Si può visitare la domus dove dimorò Francesco con i suoi compagni, il luogo del miracolo, il chiostro quattrocentesco e la cavità nella roccia dove S. Francesco diede vita al Cantico delle Creature .

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THE TEMPLE OF S. FRANCIS: in Terminillo the relic of the Holy

On June 18, 1939 Pope Pius XII declared St. Francis of Assisi, patron saint of Italy . In memory of this event the Friars Minor Conventual wanted to build a Temple (located 1623 m above sea level) on Mount Terminillo . The challenge of this imposing but harmonious construction was undertaken by P. Riziero Lanfaloni , posted on this mountain, June 4, 1948 . With constant work, tenacity painful , diligent impertinence , insistent demand , the small rivulets of aid , permits and donations resulted in this great sea. After the solemn laying of the first stone , September 18, 1949 , from the Sacred Convent of Assisi , and blessed by Cardinal Carlo Confalonieri , Archbishop of L'Aquila, began the first excavation work (1952) . Finally, August 22, 1964 the church was consecrated by the Archbishop of L'Aquila Bishop Constantine Star: the dream was realized! On 13 September he was solemnly inaugurated by Cardinal Carlo Confalonieri . Work , that of the National Votive Temple , which took decades of anxieties and worries , tensions and hopes, ambitions and revenges , and is today , from its 1623 m . above sea level, almost a perfect synthesis of the values ​​expressed by the four Franciscan sanctuaries in the Rieti valley , enveloped in a suggestive embrace summary above . And so it is that at the center of Italy, on the summits of Terminillo , each can enjoy Italian ,

revive and regain possession of the figure and message of his patron Francis of Assisi. , to which the piety of the Italians of today wanted to dedicate a temple. The interior deliberately different from the outside presents a unique architectural motif . the barrel vault so slender , dish evokes the same time of the Portiuncula . Starting the visit by the right is the chapel dedicated to St. Anthony , the whole wall with mosaic , the center of which stands out with a refined perspective the figure of the saint. In the last chapel on the right as one enters the temple of Terminillo , that close to the sanctuary , under the big cross in enamelled copper , which recalls the most famous crucifix of San Damiano that spoke to the saint of Assisi, is placed in an urn stone and stained glass that holds a relic of St. Francis. The relic in question is a fragment of the mortal remains of the patron saint of Italy. The presence of the relic of Saint Francis of Assisi , a rare privilege granted to very few churches in the world, featuring the sanctuary of Terminillo and makes it particularly dear to many devotees. ReliquarioDinnanzi the casket containing the relic , a votive lamp burns perpetually fed by a special oil provided by visitors to the shrine , the devotees of the saint and by pilgrims performing the " path of Francis ," go up to the shrine of Terminillo .

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THE BEECH S. FRANCIS: the tree obsequious

Among the many pathways that signal the presence of St. Francis of Assisi in this area Reatini Mountains, in the municipality of Rivodutri, stands the path that leads to the beech which is a thousand meters above sea level and which, according to legend, he bent its branches to offer a refuge to the saint, thus assuming this extraordinary form that can still be admired. The Beech with its foliage reaches 22 meters in diameter and has entered the ranks of law of monumental trees. Its uniqueness can be seen in its
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morphology that has gnarled branches and turned down due to a spontaneous mutation that can be found only in two other copies worldwide and found one in England and one in North America. In the area above the Beech is still possible to admire, engraved on a stone, footprints knees that legend dates back to the Holy placed on the same stone in prayer. In 1999 it was restored an old fart to make a small church which houses a relic of St. Francis. . .

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Walking can 'be joy or suffering, or more. For me walking is: finding the time to talk to themselves.