Saturday, May 22, 2010

San Francesco a Ripa

My favorite Saint is Francis. You might have guessed that if you've read my previous posts about Francis or Assisi, or if you happen to see the tiny gold Francis metal I sometimes wear around my neck.

What you might not guess after all that, is that I don't happen to be Catholic. I just love Francis. Sometimes when I read about his life I get almost overwhelmed with emotion. It's one of those things that just is. Yes, it makes sense ... patron Saint of birds, the environment, animals, ecology and Italy ... Hello, all the things I love! But there is something more. When I went to Assisi, I was so at home, so safe, and in such a loving space in my heart. When I read about him, or think about him, I feel the same way.

So, go to his church in Trastevere? Makes perfect sense.

San Francesco a Ripa in Trastevere ... lovely and understated ...

The amazing sculpture, Blessed Ludovica Alberoni by Bernini ... simply stunning.

Tau cross in the window

Entrance to adjoining Franciscan Convent ... (love the ironwork with the birds!)

You can ask someone there to take you into the cell of Saint Francis, the only remaining part of the hospice where he stayed during his 1209 trip to Rome to see the Pope and get permission for his order. We saw the stone pillow there where he was said to lie his head. I think my parents were a little shocked at this but I had read so much, I thought, "Yep, that's Francis."

Entrance to the "Sancturio" ... the cell of Saint Francis

I took video of that and will get it edited so you can see it. It was hard to get emotional or feel very connected to the experience with the guy giving us about 60 seconds and standing in the doorway. Maybe he was actually a friar in training (although I think I remember argyle) and had to attend to some confessions but he didn't seem very patient.

Maybe it was the video camera. I could have told him, "I'm going to make a very beautiful video of Franciscan places ..." but I thought it better to just move along. I had more sanctuaries ahead of me.


Diana Strinati Baur said...

I feel the same way about St. Francis. It has to do about his choosing his path, moving away from the material world he was born into and toward a self determined, nature based life.

It is the one part of the Catholic legend I can hold on to.

Theresa said...

I once knew of someone who had a similar feeling about Assisi. I can't remember who it was. We will be in La June 8-20. Amma is there June 14 - 19. It would be fun to meet you there. Go to to check details. Let me know :) Plus my kids would be quite wowed to meet an LA actress!

Merisi said...

Saint Francis and Santa Clara!
I trust you have seen the movie "Fratello sole, sorella luna" by Italian director Franco Zeffirelli, here is one of my favorite scenes from the film:

Rome was home to me for many years.
I walked by that church often.

Celine Yap said...

Hey Lucinda! Ahhh.. =( U got spammed by "Me" too?! Sighs. i really dont know whats going on.. I feel really bad and helpless.. Do u still have that comment? i would like to see it..


Emily said...

Isn't it terrible when you're face-to-face with something that speaks to you and there's an impatient tour guide tapping his foot in the near distance?

I'm glad you got to go there, though, and I can't wait to see the video. Your photographs are beautiful!

KathyA said...

I have a special affinity for a few of the saints as well -- St. Francis of Assisi is one of them. There is a Franciscan Abbey here I like to visit -- so beautiful and peaceful.

Kiki said...

Wow...gorgeous post!! And your stories translate with such beauty and meaning...very heart touching!I felt as though i was walking alongside you...thank you for sharing such special sacred moments!

ruthie said...

beautiful images, how wonderful that you have such a connection with francis and to feel so moved by this experience. I have been enjoying the photos of your trip, hope you have found your bearings again ;-)

Linda@ Lime in the Coconut said...

beautiful beautiful images...and words!

Funny...but we have two cement St. Francis's in our yard. Both of them have lost their heads. I thought maybe I had bad St. Francis juju going on...

Heather Jacks said...

It is so nice to see Italy through your eyes. I hope you are adjusting to life after your trip.

Cobalt Violet said...

Thank you guys! I am enjoying reliving my trip!

I am adjusting to life back home but feel a bit of me hasn't come back from Italy yet!

Linda, I can't believe your Francis' lost their heads! Don't give up, I am sure it's nothing personal!

Merisi, such a sweet scene! There is a newish movie called "Clare and Francis" you can rent from a couple of years ago. Just make sure you watch the Italian version with subtitles and not the dubbed English which is painful!

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