From Assisi to Cascia

“Preach the Gospel at all times and when necessary, use words.” -St. Francis

The Church of St. Francis was the first stop for the group on the fourth day of the pilgrimage. They were able to see his tomb and the beautiful Cathedral built in his honor containing the works of Giotto and Lorenzini. At his tomb, the pilgrims bought candles to be lit for their intentions and prayed that this great saint of the Church would plead with God on their behalf.

It is impossible to have St. Francis without St. Claire which is why after their visit to the Cathedral, the group made their way through the streets of Assisi until they reached the beautiful Church of St. Claire. There, they were able to see the Byzantine Crucifix Icon that spoke to St. Francis and started him in his ministry. Then, the group visited the crypt of St. Claire where they saw her body and of some of the possessions of St. Francis and St. Claire. After spending some time in prayer and meditation, the group left Assisi and made their way to the Cascia where the body of St. Rita is located.

The pilgrims were given a tour of the church where they saw the incorrupt body of St. Rita. They were also able to see the convent where she lived, received the thorn and the place she died. After enjoying lunch in Cascia, the pilgrims were able to do the Stations of the Cross in the chapel of the Church of St. Rita. At the end of the stations, Bishop Sarhad spoke a few words about the stations. He explained that when praying the stations, we begin by praying on the left side of the church and make our way around to the right. We do this in imitation of the thieves on Jesus’ right and left. We begin as the thief on the left who did not repent as he hung beside Jesus, but we end on the right that we may imitate the thief on the right who repented before he died and was able to be with Jesus in Paradise.