FRANCISCAN ITINERARY: Farfa Abbey, Greccio, Sanctuary of Fonte Colombo and “La Foresta”

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In the footsteps of Saint Francis of Assisi

PARTENZE
data 31.12.2017
On request €
PROGRAMMA VIAGGIO
Day 1
+

A trip to Farfa Abbey (Italian: Abbazia di Farfa):

A legend in the 12th-century Chronicon Farfense (Chronicle of Farfa) dates the founding of a monastery at Farfa to the time of the Emperors Julian, or Gratian, and attributes the founding to Laurence of Syria, who had come to Rome with his sister, Susannah, together with other monks, and had been made Bishop of Spoleto. According to the tradition, after being named bishop, he became enamoured of the monastic life, and chose a forested hill near the Farfa stream, a tributary of the Tiber, to build a church and a monastery. Archaeological discoveries in 1888find strong evidence that the first monastic establishment was built on the ruins of a pagan temple.

In the afternoon visit of Greccio, about 60 miles north of Rome, and about the same distance south of Assisi. 

About Greccio and Saint Francis…

In 1224, remembering his visit to the Holy Land (especially Bethlehem), Saint Francis of Assisi had the idea to replicate the manager scene in his native Italy. He had a good friend, Giovanni (John) Vellita, whom he had met on one of his preaching tours. John was a military man and Lord of Greccio, just two miles away. He had renounced the ways of the world and was a follower of Francis.

John began immediately. People prepared torches and candles to light up the night. The manager was prepared in the cave and the ox and ass brought in. When Saint Francis came to the friars’ hermitage, he was delighted. The great evening arrived. People began to come in procession, carrying their torches and candles. Thus begun the tradition of the manager scene (or Presepio, as it is known in Italy). The idea of re-creating a manager scene soon spread throughout Catholic Europe.

Day 2
+

In the morning visit at the Sanctuary of Fontecolombo (569 metres above sea level), known as “Franciscan Sinai” since St. Francis received here, in 1223, the Rule of the Grey-Friars. Saint Francis spent time in solitude and contemplation here, enjoying the splendid panorama of the Sacred Reatine Valley that stretched before him.

Stop at Convent “La Foresta”.

Today the small Church of San Fabiano is a convent of extraordinary beauty. It is also known as the Sanctuary of Santa Maria della Foresta or, more simply, “La Foresta”. Those who seek peace or like Saint Francis want to run away from the “pomp and glories of the world” will find this secluded place the ideal spot.

 

About “La Foresta”…

In the summer of 1225, Cardinal Ugolino ordered Francis to go to Rieti where Honorius III and his court would put him in the hands of papal physicians so he could receive medical treatment for his eyes. Francis left from Assisi accompanied by four brothers: Leo, Bernard, Angelo and Masseo. When they were near Rieti, Saint Francis found out that the city had prepared festivities in his honour. In order to escape the event, he found accommodations outside the city in the Church of San Fabiano where he was given the use of a house.
The Church of San Fabiano, owned by the Rieti Curia, was looked after by a poor priest.

Saint Francis was offered a place to live near the priest’s vineyard.


Historians believe that Saint Francis lived at the Sanctuary between September and October 1225.


Two important events are linked to this Sanctuary: the miracle of the grapes and the Canticle of All Creatures.


The miracle of the grapes is connected to the mass of worshippers who flowed to San Fabiano to honour Saint Francis. The pilgrims completely ruined the vineyard next to the church which was the only source of income for the poor priest who had given shelter to Saint Francis. In order to reimburse him, Francis promised an abundant harvest. When the grapes were picked, an extraordinary amount of wine was produced by the few bunches of grapes that were actually gathered.


The Sanctuary is primarily linked to the Canticle of All Creatures. It is believed that it may have been written during his stay here even though critics tend to allocate its writing to Saint Damian’s.
Despite this fact, the beautiful and diverse locations brimming with lush nature near “La Foresta” seem the perfect inspiration for those everlasting words.

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PROGRAMMA VIAGGIO
Day 1
+

A trip to Farfa Abbey (Italian: Abbazia di Farfa):

A legend in the 12th-century Chronicon Farfense (Chronicle of Farfa) dates the founding of a monastery at Farfa to the time of the Emperors Julian, or Gratian, and attributes the founding to Laurence of Syria, who had come to Rome with his sister, Susannah, together with other monks, and had been made Bishop of Spoleto. According to the tradition, after being named bishop, he became enamoured of the monastic life, and chose a forested hill near the Farfa stream, a tributary of the Tiber, to build a church and a monastery. Archaeological discoveries in 1888find strong evidence that the first monastic establishment was built on the ruins of a pagan temple.

In the afternoon visit of Greccio, about 60 miles north of Rome, and about the same distance south of Assisi. 

About Greccio and Saint Francis…

In 1224, remembering his visit to the Holy Land (especially Bethlehem), Saint Francis of Assisi had the idea to replicate the manager scene in his native Italy. He had a good friend, Giovanni (John) Vellita, whom he had met on one of his preaching tours. John was a military man and Lord of Greccio, just two miles away. He had renounced the ways of the world and was a follower of Francis.

John began immediately. People prepared torches and candles to light up the night. The manager was prepared in the cave and the ox and ass brought in. When Saint Francis came to the friars’ hermitage, he was delighted. The great evening arrived. People began to come in procession, carrying their torches and candles. Thus begun the tradition of the manager scene (or Presepio, as it is known in Italy). The idea of re-creating a manager scene soon spread throughout Catholic Europe.

Day 2
+

In the morning visit at the Sanctuary of Fontecolombo (569 metres above sea level), known as “Franciscan Sinai” since St. Francis received here, in 1223, the Rule of the Grey-Friars. Saint Francis spent time in solitude and contemplation here, enjoying the splendid panorama of the Sacred Reatine Valley that stretched before him.

Stop at Convent “La Foresta”.

Today the small Church of San Fabiano is a convent of extraordinary beauty. It is also known as the Sanctuary of Santa Maria della Foresta or, more simply, “La Foresta”. Those who seek peace or like Saint Francis want to run away from the “pomp and glories of the world” will find this secluded place the ideal spot.

 

About “La Foresta”…

In the summer of 1225, Cardinal Ugolino ordered Francis to go to Rieti where Honorius III and his court would put him in the hands of papal physicians so he could receive medical treatment for his eyes. Francis left from Assisi accompanied by four brothers: Leo, Bernard, Angelo and Masseo. When they were near Rieti, Saint Francis found out that the city had prepared festivities in his honour. In order to escape the event, he found accommodations outside the city in the Church of San Fabiano where he was given the use of a house.
The Church of San Fabiano, owned by the Rieti Curia, was looked after by a poor priest.

Saint Francis was offered a place to live near the priest’s vineyard.


Historians believe that Saint Francis lived at the Sanctuary between September and October 1225.


Two important events are linked to this Sanctuary: the miracle of the grapes and the Canticle of All Creatures.


The miracle of the grapes is connected to the mass of worshippers who flowed to San Fabiano to honour Saint Francis. The pilgrims completely ruined the vineyard next to the church which was the only source of income for the poor priest who had given shelter to Saint Francis. In order to reimburse him, Francis promised an abundant harvest. When the grapes were picked, an extraordinary amount of wine was produced by the few bunches of grapes that were actually gathered.


The Sanctuary is primarily linked to the Canticle of All Creatures. It is believed that it may have been written during his stay here even though critics tend to allocate its writing to Saint Damian’s.
Despite this fact, the beautiful and diverse locations brimming with lush nature near “La Foresta” seem the perfect inspiration for those everlasting words.

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