FrancisCorps volunteers spend 9 days walking in the footsteps of Saints Francis and Clare of Assisi!
The FrancisCorps experience is integrated in its entirety with a very special pilgrimage to Assisi, Italy provided to you through the generosity of the benefactors of FrancisCorps. On this 9-day pilgrimage, experienced in the last weeks of your FrancisCorps year, you will have the amazing opportunity to integrate your lived experience of community, service, and prayer through a Franciscan lens by walking in the footsteps of Saints Francis and Clare of Assisi.
Visiting These Different Places in Assisi, Rome, and Vatican City!
Pray at the tomb of St. Clare as well as the San Damiano Cross, the crucifix which St. Francis prayed before and heard the Lord say to him, “Francis, go and rebuild my church.”
Celebrate mass at the tomb of Saint Francis and experience the simple and prayerful beauty of this 13th-century basilica.
Spend time in quiet prayer in the same caves and woods where Saint Francis and the early brothers also spent time in prayer and solitude.
Not only was this the church where Saints Francis and Clare were baptized but this was also a place where Saint Francis preached and Clare heard him, which started her journey of conversion.
A place of conversion, in 1205 St. Francis while praying for guidance heard the Lord speak to him through the San Damiano Cross. Eventually becoming the first home to St. Clare and her sisters, in 1225, this is where Saint Francis composed The Canticle of the Sun, the first poem written in the Italian language.
In this place in 1223 Saint Francis first celebrated the reenactment of the Christmas nativity, a tradition that continue to this day and one you will celebrate during Advent at Assumption Church in Syracuse!
Here in this church, Saint Francis and Clare once embraced, served, and loved the lepers. While in this church you can touch the same exact stones they both once touched.
In the middle of this church sits the Porziuncola, a tiny chapel St. Francis and the early brothers rebuilt and prayed at and is the spot where St. Francis died.
After Francis and his brothers returned from Rome where Pope Innocent III approved their way of life, Rivotorto was the place in which the fraternal life of the friars first came into being and is the foundation of the intentional community of FrancisCorps!
A medieval castle that sits on the hilltop where you will overlook the beautiful city of Assisi while being reminded to be peacemakers and ambassadors of reconciliation just like Saint Francis.
The Cathedral of Rome and seat of the Pope, this is the church St. Francis went to seeking approval for his new way of life from Pope Innocent III. Initially reluctant his mind was changed when in a dream, the Pope saw a crumbling St. John Lateran being pushed back into place and supported by St. Francis.
The burial site of St. Peter and the largest church in the world, this Basilica reminds us that our Franciscan tradition is part of a much larger Church, a Church big enough to be a home for us all.
What Alumni Are Saying
On the pilgrimage, I realized how one person, being deeply and totally transformed by the Gospel, can make huge waves in the world. A guy from a small town in the 1200s let himself be changed by Jesus Christ, and that I, too, can be deeply transformed by Christ.
Caroline Ludden – FC 21
The pilgrimage was very special because I was able to come to know a place that I had heard about for a long time and I was with my FrancisCorps community sharing the experience.
Elias Arias – FC 21
The Charism Pilgrimage for me connected all the pieces of my service year. I truly felt St. Francis and St. Clare’s love for God through every space. It was so nourishing for my soul to do this pilgrimage. I walked away with tremendous peace, joy, and truly found the “why” for wanting to do a vocation in service.
Jazmin Serrano – FC23
Walking through the streets of Assisi and the lives of Francis and Clare revealed to me that rooting myself in God is what it means to be Franciscan.
Jenna Ford – FC 23
The pilgrimage is beautiful because you get to walk in the footsteps of St. Francis, his companions, and countless other pilgrims. You see that Christ has called everyone to serve as he did, regardless of their backgrounds, strengths, and weaknesses. You learn how you can serve in the next stages of life.
John Riedel – FC 23
The peacefulness I felt walking through the streets of Assisi with its high walls and beautiful view of the valley below is something I will always carry with me. Assisi allowed me to encounter firsthand the tranquility and impact of Saints Francis and Clare while truly grasping what it meant for them to hand their lives over to God. This pilgrimage experience is something I draw from daily as I remember the profound peace that God brings when we allow him into our lives.
Kasia Kwitnieski – FC 23
The pilgrimage to Assisi was just as great an internal journey as it was an external journey. Walking through the streets and forests that shaped the lives of Francis and Clare, I was able to understand and embrace the Franciscan spirit in a way that is not possible anywhere else.
Natalie Smith – FC 22
Living in such a young country, it is easy to think about the story of St. Francis (1200s!) as myth or legend. Having the chance to actually see the land that he saw and touch the stones that he placed at San Damiano helped me to understand in a visceral way that God calls people to do heroically good deeds in seemingly mundane places. I find myself more attuned to the possibilities for good in my immediate life.
Tanner Loper – FC 21