Friday morning we got to sleep in until 6:45! Breakfast was pretty good at Hotel dei Priori, but I liked the breakfast at Hotel Caravel better. After breakfast we headed over to Santa Chiara for Mass. I got there early so I could walk around. In Santa Chiara, there is the original San Damiano cross, the habits of St. Francis, St. Clare, and Brother Rufino, the shoe St. Francis wore that St. Clare made, an alb that St. Clare made, and some of St. Clare’s hair. St. Clare is also buried there so I got to spend some time in front of her tomb.
After Mass we gathered outside for our walking tours. Sr. Sarah Rose led our group and she talked about St. Clare and St. Francis and some of their stories. She then let us go back in the church for some time to look around for those people who didn’t get to look around before Mass. Then we walked down to San Damiano and got to see where St. Francis prayed. It was really beautiful.
We had lunch back at the hotel and then some down time before the Pilgrimage Walk (aka hike) up to the Hermitage of St. Francis. It took about an hour and Cheris and I were practically dying by the time we made it up there. Some people did it barefoot as a sacrifice, but we figured since we’re not hiker’s, the hike itself was penance enough. When we got to the top, we saw St. Francis’ rock bed, the chapel he prayed in, and the hole where he threw the wolf down. We had to go through all these little doors that were super small. I felt bad for some of the big guys who were squeezing through. One guy was coming out the last door and when he stood up, he hit his head on this random wooden beam. He said, “I hate being tall” so Cheris and I asked him if he was okay and then we walked away because I could feel a fit of giggles coming on. We were trying to be quiet and prayerful, but it was one of those things that just sets you off laughing. It was terrible. We walked around outside on the little paths, and then made our way back down the hill with Rose. We were still having bursts of laughter every once in a while.
Following such a long walk we of course needed some gelato so we stopped and I got chocolate and mint flavored. We came back to my room and hung out for a bit until they went shopping and I did some homework. We had dinner and afterwards Marissa and I went to the FOP. It was totally awesome because there were so many of us crowded into this little tiny church. I came back to go to bed around 9:30 and got nine hours of sleep.