“In 1213 Count Orlando Catani of Chiusi gave Francis a mountainous parcel of land called La Verna to use as a place of retreat. Tucked into the wilderness east of Florence, La Verna features a solitary peak, known as Monte Penna, and is covered with a forest of beech and fir trees. The friar withdrew to this mountain with his companion Brother Leo in September 1224 for a 40-day fast and contemplation of Christ’s Passion, during which he prayed fervently to share in Christ’s suffering. According to early accounts, the answer to his prayer came in a vision of a fiery six-winged angel, or seraph, bearing the image of Christ crucified. As the seraph departed, the wounds of Christ’s crucifixion, called the stigmata (nail marks through the hands and feet, a piercing of the torso), appeared on Francis’s own body. He bore those wounds for the remaining two years of his life. Today the Sanctuary of La Verna remains an active monastery and, after Assisi, is the second-holiest site for the Franciscan order.” ~ npa.gov
This sacred mountain will be the starting point for our Camino. A very prayerful and holy place. As Cale and I wandered the halls and explored all the nooks and crannies, we were amazed by everything we stumbled upon. We walked through caves where St. Francis prayed, visited the cave where he slept and prayed in the cave (now chapel) where he received the Stigmata. One of the highlights was seeing the habit worn by St. Francis when he received the Stigmata. Lets just say, Cale and I stood there in awe and felt the Holy Spirit all around us!
This Holy Sanctuary on a mountain top had a humbleness about it that can’t be described just felt. A perfect place to start our walk across Italy.
Join us on this amazing Camino! Don’t miss out, only a few spots are still available.