Sunday, July 11, 2010

I wish I was at the Portiuncula.

When I was little I used to go to what I called a little park - it was a small grassy patch attached to a small office building for the brewery in my neighborhood, bordered on two sides by a hedge, just above a ravine, with two oak trees in the center, landscaped with a small distance in between them:  'Perfect for a hermitage', I thought.  I often sat there some Sundays on my way home from Mass and imagined that a replica of the little chapel St. Francis restored had been translated miraculously from Assisi and sat in the center of the park.  I'd pray my rosary or just sit quietly, all alone.  I pretended I was with St. Francis and the first friars as they prayed, while I thought about Our Lady of the Angels.

Sometimes I pretend I'm back in Italy, in the valley below Assisi, in the Portiuncula once again - no one around me however.  As if I'm there after the basilica which encloses the little portion is closed, the tourists and friars have all gone away.  Or sometimes I just pretend I'm alone with St. Francis when the chapel stood by itself in the plain, and we are there together.  He sees me and I see him.  I, like Brother Leo watch him praying, as in the tableau above the entry - Francis praying to Our Lord and Our Lady, asking for the Great Pardon of Assisi.

Today I have a replica of the Portiuncula in my heart, and St. Francis is there with Our Lady and Christ and all the angels.


  1. To have a chapel in your heart - oh, that we should all be so blessed!

    One time I was watching "Into Great Silence" and listening to the monks chant in the middle of the night. I thought "surely that is the sound God's blood makes as it goes through His Sacred Heart."

  2. A beautiful post! I was there in 1997 and your words brought back wonderful memories.

  3. Angela! That is a beautiful thought - thanks.

    Thanks RJW.

  4. That chapel is one of the best in that place. We once get a chance to visit it and that was a very wonderful experience. I wish I can come back to that place.

  5. Terry, I got herded (and I mean herded) through Assisi...was I ever pissed (sorry!).
    I would have loved to spend a whole week there; I never got to San Damiano, the Portiucola...darnit!!
    I just got to get swiftly herded through St. Clare's Basilica and the Basilica of St. Francis (with all those precious frescoes of Giotto! I'm dying here!!!)...well, anyway.
    Praised be Jesus Christ in His Saints, esp. Ss. Francis and Clare.
    They probably would have had the "hissy fit" I had walking out of the place...dammit!!:<)!


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