With our flight taking off in seven hours for the return trip to Crawfordsville, I have the opportunity to reflect on a great spring break. Traveling around the different regions of Italy allowed our class to experience many different aspects about the life and times of Saint Francis and the religious artwork that was a tribute to his service.
My favorite place on our journey was La Verna, a religious retreat and contemplation point for Saint Francis; it was also the location where he received the Stigmata. La Verna is a mountain complex for the Franciscans to break away from the fast-pace material world of the city. The landscape is stunning with the complex set on a cliff overlooking a valley. La Verna is made up of many small chapels and a large church; some of the Franciscan friars live there permanently while other orders of the Franciscans come to spend time in peace. Doctor Cook showed us the chapel and the spot where Saint Francis received the Stigmata. We then looked at the actual habit that Saint Francis wore for the last three years of his life.
The beauty and peacefulness of La Verna made it an unforgettable experience and allowed our class to walk in Francis’s footsteps.
Jake German – ‘11