Virtual Pilgrimage | Day 3 - Assisi
We began our last morning in Assisi with taxi rides up Mt. Subasio to the Hermitage of the Carceri. Francis often spent times of prayer and contemplation in the solitude of this mountain hermitage. Francis' life alternated between periods of quiet contemplation and apostolic activity. There is a wonderful view of the mountain above and the Umbrian valley below. We celebrated Mass here on the Feast of Our Lady of the Rosary in a chapel built for pilgrims.
With taxi rides down the mountain to our awaiting bus, we began the one hour ride to the medieval hill town of Orvieto with its magnificent Cathedral. We stopped for a four course lunch at a local family restaurant with antipasto, pasta, chicken and chocolate torte. After lunch we continued our climb to the center of the town.
Walls were never constructed around Orvieto as it was naturally fortified by being built on a plateau on top of a mountain. Orvieto is famous for its cathedral with spires that soar above the rooftops of this quaint town of 5,000 people. Building of the Duomo (cathedral) began in 1290 and it took more than 300 years to complete. The cathedral was built to house the relic of the corporal from a Eucharistic miracle that took place in 1263. A priest, Fr. Peter, was doubting his faith yet he celebrated Mass one day in the nearby town of Bolsena. As he was consecrating the host it began to bleed onto the corporal and altar stone. The Pope happened to be in Orvieto at the time, so Fr. Peter brought the corporal to the Pope for him to verify and authenticate the miracle. The stained corporal is encased in a reliquary in one of the side chapels of the duomo.
The colorful facade of this gothic cathedral contains many works of art with colored mosaics, statues, a rose window and base relief sculptures of biblical scenes. In addition to the chapel with the relic of the corporal there is another chapel which contains beautiful frescoes of the Last Judgement started by Fra Angelico. This chapel predates Michelangelo and his idea for the Last Judgement at the Sistine Chapel. There is also a beautiful marble carving of the Pieta by Scalsa which is similar to Michelangelo's Pieta in St. Peter's. With its 5575 pipes, the church also holds one of the largest organs in Italy. It is also important to note the large marble baptistery at the side entrance to the church. After some free time to further explore the town and cathedral we returned to the bus for the two hour ride to our final destination of the day - Rome. We arrived at the Hotel Palatino in time for dinner and a good night's rest before a very full day tomorrow.
Click the image below
to view a summary of our day.
Sometimes technology...well wi-fi doesn't cooperate... Now that we have a better connection, we didn't want to miss sending you this video message from Fr. Juan in Assisi last night.
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St. Mary's Parish ~ 20 Summer Street ~ Shrewsbury, MA
on Friday, October 7, 2016 at 8:09PM