Thursday, June 17, 2010

Fonte Colombo


Fonte Colombo is called "The Franciscan Sinai." It is considered sacred and was a place Francis loved. He returned here in September of 1223. He fasted on bread and water, prayed alone in his little cave for a month and then dictated his "rule" to brother Leo for his order of friars. This "rule" was approved by Pope Honorius III in November of 1223 and still governs the order of the friars minor today, some 800 years later. (There's a lot more to the story but that's the quick version!)

It is beautiful. It is quiet. On the hillside, it is lush and green and it does feel holy. You feel as though you have stepped into a sacred space. I could have spent the entire day there, (or forever!) meditating, praying and even drawing. I hope one day to go back, when I am in no hurry and just "be."

There is a feeling of safety and peace in this place. I am welling up just thinking about it.

I saw a whole 5 people there outside of my parents and Mauro. 3 were Franciscan monks who probably live there. One was a man we saw in the newer church hanging an icon of the Madonna and trying not to drop her. (My Mom went over and helped him.) And one, other gentleman who was down on one of the pathways.

We had a moment of blue sky when we arrived and then it began to drizzle when I left the Holy Grotto. It felt like mist.



The Cammino di Francesco , or walking path that leads to all the sacred Franciscan sites in the Rieti Valley
(and elsewhere) including Fonte Columbo. Someday ...

The Cloister






The path down to one of the churches Francis loved so much ...


... the Chapel of the Magdalene ...




Brother Leo celebrated Masses here with Francis and to the left
of the altar, in the corner of the window is the "Tau" written
by Francis himself.





The path takes you down to what feels almost like a secret ...



past the beautiful lush nature he loved ...



down steep winding stone steps
to the narrow cave ...

the Holy Grotto of St. Francis




I imagined him here praying in the lush green surroundings ...
in solitude



hearing the sounds of leaves rustling



the cool breeze ...



and flowers coming up through the fallen leaves ...



and I catch a glimpse ...



grace

solitude

peace

&

gratitude

I try to take them with me,

as I continue on my way


10 comments:

Don said...

What a wonderful place. So peaceful.
Thanks.

PK Studios said...

Magnificent! I love the stained glass window with the wisteria (?) and bluebirds. And of course all the stone... and greenery..etc, etc. : )

bonequinhoda bic said...

Here´s a short clip filled with significance and a great tune that i often sing to myself.
Good morning little Cobalt :)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OKFbB_kqpDI&feature=related

spacedlaw said...

A lovely place!

Kerry O'Gorman said...

The photos you took really give a sense of tranquility so I can well imagine the feeling of being there physically. What a quiet life St Francis led...amongst such beauty.

donna baker said...

I'll have to go back and look at the posts of Assisi.

joanne May said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
joanne May said...

This is a very spiritual and magical place. Your photos really takes you to Fontecolombo. I can feel the atmosphere of Franciscan Sinai. Thank you for sharing it's peace and natural beauty.
xx

Rachel said...

I am very jealous

Cobalt Violet said...

It's fun to share I place I completely fell in love with and have it come across a bit as it was ... peaceful ... tranquil ... Thank you for the comments!