Vocations “come and follow me”

Retreat at Mount Alvernia

“Quando l’amante diviene l’immagine dell’amato avviene la pienezza e il perfezionamento dell’unione tra Dio e l’Uomo”. Herewith, a beautiful phrase of Saint Bonaventure about what Saint Francis lived at Mount Alvernia in September of 1224. In fact, in this place the holy man received the grace of being perfectly and intimately joint to Jesus’ soul and body, that both became one only thing, one body, one spirit through the conformation of Francis to Jesus poor and crucified, physically seen with the reception of the holy stigmas. In this holy place, so esteemed by the Franciscan family, was celebrated the trimestral retreat of the postulants of the Franciscan provinces of the Custody of the Holy Land, Saint Bonaventure (Lazio e Abruzzo), San Francisco Stimmatizzato (Tuscany) and the Holy Name of Jesus (Sicily). Together are going through this years’ itinerary as postulants, that will end up in September when, together, will begin a new year as a unified fraternity of Novices at Mount Alvernia. With the same structure of the previous retreats, the postulants have lived three days between formation and discussion, prayer, silence, reflection and fraternal sharing. The grace of the place favoured the weather of introspection and contemplation, while the themes discussed at the talks linked perfectly to the spiritual meaning and the environment of Mount Alvernia. The main topic this time was the conformation of new men being born for the second time in Jesus Christ, with a second birth nourished and cultivated with the Word of God and the constant life of prayer, bringing as a result the construction of a true Christian Fraternity, the mystical body of Jesus Christ that is the Church. On the other side, among the different appointments throughout the day (the Holy Mass, the liturgy of the hours and the talks) there was a particular celebration of big interest to the visitors: The daily procession to the Capella delle stimmate. The chapel is the place where the Seraphine appeared to Saint Francis the night of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross in 1224, printing in his body the signs of the Passion of Our Lord. Day by day all the friars of the convent of Mount Alvernia go towards the chapel singing solemn hymns and prayers in Latin, remembering the marvellous episode. After three days of work, the retreat arrived to its end with the celebration of the Holy Mass, giving thanks and glory to God for the days of grace lived together as a family. Afterwards, each group returned to their convents of origin, while the postulants of Montefalco, in their way back home, did a brief stop at the medieval town of Gubbio, famous for the episode of St. Francis and the wolf. Finally, after all the knowledge and the experience acquired, the next step is to use and live the spiritual and affective tools that have been given in order to reach the profound desire of being born again through the conformation of new men in, with and for Jesus Christ.


Events calendar


Dio. Jerusalem: Solemnity of the BVM, Queen of the Holy Land


Solemnity of All Saints


Commemoration of All the Faithful Departed (All Souls) St. Saviour: 9.00 Mass - Cemeteries Mount Zion: 10.00


Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe


Bethlehem: 11.30 Entrance (Custos) - 13.45 Vespers - 14.15 Procession - 15.30 Office & Procession

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