Friday, August 12, 2016

LE CELLE...... a place of reflection

James and I make a visit here each time we are in Italy. It was at this place on the side
of Mount Sant' Egido that St. Francis began building this Hermitage, known as Le Celle, with a few of his Franciscan followers.

The sign as you enter the sign asks for silence, but you understand this immediately upon your approach that this is a quiet place, a place of reflection.

The descent down takes you across a bridge that crosses a stream that has craved a waterfall through the rock. The entire hillside is rock which makes this place seem even more spiritual. This indeed is one of those places where heaven and the earth come together , a 'thin place'.

I did not take photos inside the cell of St. Francis, but I can tell you it is small and contains a plank for a bed and a table and chair. Very minimal. He was here to contemplate and write.
It was here in his cell that he wrote his will passing the Franciscan order's leadership to
Brother Elias of Cortona.

Respecting the quiet is essential to understand the uniqueness of place. The sound of water, birds and leaves rustling and your own footsteps become apparent. The view is across a valley with the near ground of cypress, the middle ground the valley with Holly Oaks and the far ground the Val d' Chiana.

The door frames the walkway that leads to the stairs which take you up to the cell of St. Francis.

Today, Le Celle is the residence of seven Franciscan Capucin Friars
that carry on the teachings of St. Francis.

Le Celle is just outside the Tuscan town of Cortona. On a clear day from Panicale, we can see Cortona  perched on a hillside that is beyond Lake Trasimeno.

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