On an early Friday morning, 12 students braved the light rain and wind to walk in the footsteps of Saint Francis and Saint Clare of Assisi. Led by Prof. Adrian Hoch, the students in HSWS 380: Saints, Sinners, and Harlots journeyed to Assisi to experience first-hand the art and history surrounding these important figures.
The trip started with a visit to the Porziuncola (a church within a church) at Santa Maria degli Angeli, where the Franciscan movement began when Saint Francis received his vocation. This was followed by a visit to the churches of San Damiano and Santa Chiara, which were important historical sites in the life of Saint Clare.
At San Rufino, a kindly nun invited the students and Prof. Hoch to view the oratory where St. Francis and his followers had prayed in the early days of the order. This was quite a unique experience as it was the first time that Prof. Hoch, in her many years as an instructor, had ever seen the oratory.
After an extended and well-deserved lunch, the students and Prof. Hoch were back in action at the last stop on the trip: the famous Basilica of Saint Francis of Assisi. Led through the fresco-covered lower basilica, down to the solemn crypt of Saint Francis, and concluding in the expansive upper basilica, the students saw the past come to life in one afternoon.