BirthPlace of St Francis
This small chapel (the stall) where the Francis was born, is a reminder for all of us that in simplicity truth is born. Visiting the birthplace of Francis, and sitting in the simple peace of the place, is a beautiful way to begin our journey to
experiencing the spirit of St. Francis.
By Rob Stucky, Retreat Leader
This sacred pilgrimage is for those who are seeking a deeper experience of peace and wholeness in their lives, no matter what tradition they may be from, and have felt drawn to Assisi in their search.
For millennia people have been attracted to particular places because the atmosphere there seems especially uplifting. Even successive civilizations have built their places of worship one on top of the other, on the same site, in recognition of this phenomenon.
Assisi is one of those spiritual “power spots”- a uniquely beautiful town on an idyllic hillside in central Italy, that has nurtured two of Christianity’s most beloved saints- Francis and Clare. Their radical practice of selfless love and simplicity, embracing all of creation, has made Assisi draw pilgrims from all walks of life, all traditions, and from all over the world, like a magnet to the soul.
To walk the streets and fields of Assisi, retrace the lives and spiritual histories of Francis and Clare through the town and surrounding countryside, and simply sit in the profound silence of the tombs of these two exemplary saints, is unforgettable. It is to immerse yourself in a direct experience of sacred space, and to observe first hand its impact on your own inner state.
By doing so, you will discover that you actually carry that sacred space inherently within you, and discover why the word “holiness” and “wholeness” have the same etymology in English! It’s hard not to feel whole in the stillness of such a holy place, and hard not to find in the lives of these two saints, recognized as giants in the annals of world spirituality, inspiration for living our own lives, emulating their example of quiet, joyful simplicity, even in the midst of a busy world.
The longing for oneness, for connection to something Higher than ourselves, is innate to the human spirit, but our search for it is all too often outward looking, neglecting our inner lives. Even those who feel they have found some kind of personal spiritual practice often get stuck in their progress, and feel they need a boost. Unfortunately, many feel that institutional religion has not always succeeded in providing that boost, leaving those seeking something deeper at a loss as to where to turn.
Others may not have any particular affiliation to a faith tradition, yet sense a less defined spiritual need and longing they’re not sure how to even describe, much less fulfill, leaving them with an emptiness inside. Nearly everyone feels at some point that there is something missing in their lives, and that throws us off balance. Especially in a rapidly changing world in which life seems to become ever more stressful, the need for an antidote to this inner imbalance and longing is acute.
If you’re looking for a spiritual boost, no matter where you are on the spiritual path, Silent Peace Retreats may be just the solution you’re looking for! Our retreats offer an ample opportunity to spend some quality “inner time”, with some gentle guidance as to how to do so, helping you to reflect on and deepen your experience in spiritually useful and rewarding ways. Each of our retreat leaders has an extensive background and decades of experience in spiritual practice and spiritual direction themselves, so they are well equipped to offer context and support for your own practice, to help make it as fruitful for you as possible.
Through minimally guided contemplation, some physical exercises to facilitate it, and an informed companionship, we lead you to your own inner exploration of the many soul-soothing and uplifting places in which Francis and Clare lived, practiced, and died. Simple Peace Retreats offers you a cornucopia of spiritual opportunities. Savor and enjoy them at a leisurely pace, and learn to use the tools you need to continue to nurture them, even long after you depart from Assisi.