In a small village not far from Florence, Italy, a thirteenth-century soldier was imprisoned. The son of a rich merchant, this young soldier had been “lost” for most of his life when suddenly he had a vision to serve God in an unconditional way. He gave up all material possessions, ultimately living and teaching the message of Jesus of Nazareth. This was the man who would come to be known as Saint Francis of Assisi. He became renowned for helping many by simply being in their presence. Wild animals and birds became tame near him, meekly tickling his fingers and flying into his open hands.
On a pilgrimage many years ago, I went to Lower Assisi to visit the tiny chapel that Saint Francis had prayed in every day. The chapel still stands in its exact condition from that time. Today it is surrounded by a spacious building with glorious stained glass windows and an ornate ceiling. Thousands of people mill about in this outer structure; all are in Assisi to pray and pay homage to the thirteenth-century saint. The visitors come and go every day from all over the globe, in solemn, somber, loving tribute to this divine being.
I was escorted into the tiny chapel which once was the spiritual meditative home of Saint Francis. I sat down to meditate in this sacred place, and immediately felt bliss and unconditional love entering my energy field. I returned a second day to visit again and confirm how powerful the experience had been and to be certain that it wasn’t just my expectations at work in that chapel. The room radiated unconditional love. It was in the air, so to speak. This little chapel, inside the outer chamber surrounding it, seemed a metaphor for ourselves. Our body is the outer protective chamber. But deep inside that chamber is a place of perfect harmony and peace, a place to visit often and feel the radiance that abides there.
Here in Lower Assisi is a place where Saint Francis made conscious contact with God, and a place where millions of people have come with love and gratitude to be in the imprint of his energy field. This kind of energy leaves its mark. It remains there to be felt and experienced. Loving radiant energy joyously impacts the energy field of all who enter. In places where spiritual consciousness and unconditional love are practiced, an invisible energy field of grace, beauty, and tenderness remains in the environment.