Friday, May 8, 2009

La Verna

Because he was ill and too frail to walk, Saint Francis once agreed to ride a peasant’s donkey high up a mountain in Tuscany to the hermitage of La Verna. When the peasant became thirsty and couldn’t continue, legend has it that Francis caused water to spring from bare rock. No one we’ve asked about this spring seems to know anything about it.

 Now Tom has found the words Fte. S.Francesco next to the symbol of a spring on an old topo map. We slither down a muddy trail in search of it. It is not where we expect to find it and we almost give up but farther along, there it is! … a tiny chapel and the little spring. We stay for a little while, gazing out over the landscape from the heights and having some bread and water. In the Little Flowers, Saint Francis remarks that a table of stone surrounded by nature is infinitely grander than a banquet hall. And of course, we agree.

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