The pilgrims, led by Fr. Renninger and Fr. Prince, left for Italy from Richmond on Sunday afternoon. After a delay in Richmond due to a malfunctioning bathroom on the plane, we arrived in Atlanta for our flight to Italy. The flight to Italy was long (over 9 hours) and few of us got much sleep. However, after landing in Rome at about 9:30 AM Rome time on Monday, we took a bus to Assisi. Our first stop was Basilica of Santa Maria degli Angeli (Papal Basilica of Saint Mary of the Angels) where Fr. Prince said Mass.
Much venerated as the place of St. Francis’ death. Inside the grand Baroque basilica are two small, humble structures: the Capella del Transito and the Porziuncola. The Porziuncola is a chapel obtained from the Benedictines and restored by St. Francis himself. In it he founded the order of Friars Minor that would later be known as the Franciscans. It was also here that St. Clare embarked on her monastic life on March 28, 1211. Nearby, in the humble cell now known as the Cappella del Transito, St. Francis died October 3, 1226. See: http://www.sacred-destinations.com/italy/assisi-santa-maria-degli-angeli
Our hotel is in the town of Assisi up a very steep hill. We enjoyed dinner together, but are looking forward to sleeping in a bed rather than an airplane seat. Our hotel has a beautiful view of the valley below. Tomorrow we visit the Basilica of Saint Francis with Mass being celebrated at the tomb of Saint Francis.