Santuario della Verna II

by Pietro Riparbelli

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about

La Verna, in Latin Alverna and geographically known as Monte Penna, is a locality on Mount Penna, an isolated mountain of 1,283 m situated in the centre of the Tuscan Apennines, rising above the valley of the Casentino, central Italy. The place is known especially for its association with Saint Francis of Assisi (he is said to have received the stigmata here) and for the Sanctuary of La Verna, which grew up in his honour. Administratively it falls within the Tuscan province of Arezzo and the comune of Chiusi della Verna, Italy.

The Sanctuary of La Verna, located a few kilometers from Chiusi della Verna (Arezzo), in the National Park of Casentino Forests, Mount Falterona and Campigna, is famous for being the place where St. Francis of Assisi would receive the stigmata on September 14, 1224. Built in the southern part of Mount Penna at 1,128 metres (3,701 ft) high, the Sanctuary is home to numerous chapels and places of prayer and meditation[1] In August 1921 Pope Benedict XV elevated the church to the status of minor basilica.
La Verna is the most famous monasteries of the Casentino, and one of the most important Franciscan. St. Francis in the spring of 1213 met the Count Orlando of Chiusi della Verna, who, impressed by his preaching, made a gift of La Verna to him and his followers. It became a place of numerous and prolonged periods of withdrawal. Some small cells were built and the church of Santa Maria degli Angeli (1216–18). The decisive impulse to the development of a large monastery was given by the episode of the stigmata (1224). The last visit of Francis to the mountain was in the summer of 1224. He retired in August, for a 40-day fast in preparation for the feast of St. Michael, and while he was absorbed in prayer, he received the stigmata. Pope Alexander IV took the site under papal protection and in 1260 a church was built and consecrated. St. Bonaventure and many bishops were in attendance. A few years later the Chapel of the Stigmata was built by Count Simon of Battifolle, close to the place of the miracle. An older chapel, Santa Maria degli Angeli, had been built in 1218 by St. Francis. The main church was begun in 1348 but remained unfinished until 1459. From the main church, the friars make a solemn procession twice a day to the Chapel of the Stigmata.

The monastery was partially destroyed by fire in the fifteenth century and later restored. The restorations took three centuries. In 1810 and in 1866 the friars were expelled temporarily following the suppression of religious orders.

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released June 29, 2016

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CATHEDRALS Italy

Pietro Riparbelli is a philosopher, composer and sound-multimedia artist based in Livorno (Tuscany).

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