Friday, July 16, 2010

San Damiano ~ Assisi

My aunt and uncle left for Umbria a couple of weeks ago. Before leaving, my aunt Penny, who had been to Assisi before, asked me where they should go. She asked me what places I loved, that perhaps they'd missed on their previous visit. San Damiano was the first on my list. It's just outside the old city walls and is a truly blessed place.

I love San Damiano. It is so peaceful and quiet and the area surrounding the convent is filled with olive groves and poppies and a wonderous view of the Umbrian valley. On my first trip here I sat and sketched while a little cat came to hang out with me, purring as I put pen to paper, crawling on my lap and rolling around on my scarf. It was so beautiful that day and I will never forget sitting there beneath the olive trees.





San Damiano is one of the most important places in the story of both Saint Francis and Saint Claire. It is where Francis, while meditating on a the "San Damino Cross" - A Siro-Byzantine icon, that he heard the voice of God telling him to "Go and rebuild my church." It is a huge moment for Francis and when Claire decided to leave her life of wealth and nobility behind, this is where Francis brought Claire. Here she began the second order of Franciscans,"The Poor Claire's." And at the end of his life, when he was very ill and being cared for by the sisters, he wrote his beautiful Canticle of the Creatures here, in Claire's tiny roof garden.

Claire lived here until her death another 27 years after the death of Francis. They say miracles happen for those that pray in her dormitory where she and her sisters slept, lined up on on straw mattresses. There are two windows that look down on the cloister courtyard, now lined with beautiful red geraniums. (see below) It is also where she died and is a very quiet place to pray and meditate.





















To see photos of the interior (they don't want tourists snapping pictures) you can go to the official Santuario Website.


"You pray in your distress and in your need;

would that you might also pray in the fullness of your joy

and in your days of abundance."



Have a beautiful, amazing weekend!!!

11 comments:

erin said...

oh i love your quote today, sweety! and of course your beautiful sketches of such a fabulous place. i have always wanted to live in a house with a court yard...they seem so enveloping and safe.......
and so, i hope you got to pray in her dormitory....
have a good weekend.
erin

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KathyA said...

Umbria is lovely and this site particularly so.

Kerry O'Gorman said...

Such a peaceful place...you've captured it brilliantly both in photos and especially your sketches.

JM said...

Love the stone buildings and the surrounding landscape!

Candy said...

Lovely sketches and photos, Lucinda! I enjoyed this post very much. I wish I could hop a plane right now, make my way to San Damiano, enjoy the peace, do some painting and be befriended by a little cat. Life has so many treasures for us.

Candy said...

I forgot to tell you that I keep a list of places Jim and I are going to travel to in our computer. I've added San Damiano to our list. I think we would fall in love with it just like you did.

Don said...

This is such a beautiful area. I've been there and now I want to return!

girasoli said...

I am very late in visiting your blog. Thank you so much for the comments on mine. Somehow the 2nd one ended up in my spam comment section. Hopefully I did not miss any other real comments there.

I have been enjoying reading about your trips to Italy and LOVE your photos!

I have only been to Assisi once, back in 2000. I really need to return there someday. It is such a peaceful and serene place (except of course when the hordes of tourists are jamming the streets).

Kiki said...

Yay ..awesome post! Gorgeous and touching..and super lovely! Love the sketch...and photos..magnificent beauty!
Kiki~

PK Studios said...

Love the sketches....show more! You should make a little Italy book of your sketches!