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.