In the Footsteps of St. Francis, Oct. 8 to 15, 2010

In The Footsteps of St. Francis, October 8 to 15, 2010


Francis of Assisi, 1182 - 1226


Author and journalist, Wendy Murray, is hosting a weeklong Study Tour in Italy titled “In the Footsteps of Francis,” based upon her  recently published book, A Broken and Mended Heart: the Life and Love of Francis of Assisi (Basic Books, 2008). In the book she traces the life of St. Francis from his childhood to his death. She gathered her research while living in Assisi, Italy for a year.

(Buy Wendy’s book here.)

“In the Footsteps of Francis,” October 8 to 15, 2010, is a chance to experience firsthand the life and times of such an astonishing figure.  The tour unfolds his life, traveling from his childhood home, culminating in a visit to La Verna, the dramatic precipice where he received his famous stigmata.  Murray is considered an expert on St. Francis based upon the extensive and detailed research she conducted while living in Assisi.  The Franciscan community in particular has enthusiastically endorsed her book. With book in hand, the pages will come to life as the trip participants experience the pages become reality.

Registration is available at:, and is due by May 15, 2010 along with a $250 registration fee.  The trip in total costs $2750, which pays for housing, local transportation, excursions, 2 daily meals, and guest lectures. Airfare is not included.

If you are interested or know someone who might be, please do not let this opportunity pass you by.  The tour is sure to make history come alive in retracing the steps of so astonishing a figure.

“I know no one with a greater command of the known facts about the lives of Saints Francis and Claire than Wendy Murray. And having lived in Assisi for a year of research and writing, Wendy Murray knows every inch of the Franciscan terrain in Assisi and throughout Umbria.”

~John Skillen, Director Gordon-in-Orvieto and Studio for Art, Faith & History, Orvieto, Italy

Study Tour: “In the Footsteps of St. Francis”

Assisi, Italy October 8 to 15, 2010

 This 8-day tour will trace the places in Assisi and nearby locales related to the various stages of Francis’ short vaulting life. We will follow his footsteps to the home and school of his childhood; to the streets of his wild young adulthood as a party-loving playboy; to the spots related to his early years as an aspiring knight and warrior; and the hidden getaways where he went when he began to turn away from the wild life to seek God.

Assisi's Main Piazza


We will visit the spot where he stripped naked before the town and his parents renouncing all his worldly attachments. We will travel to local medieval towns where he preached. We will stand upon the precipice where Francis received the five wounds of Christ known as the stigmata.

We will also bask in the wonder and mystery of the enchanting landscape of Umbria– Italy’s “green heart”– partaking in its local cuisine and enjoying  (as the Italians do)  a different pace of life. Umbria, the captivating Italian province in which Assisi is located, is known for its disproportionate propagation of artists and saints — Francis the most well-known. There is no end to the mystery and effervescence the region offers. The Study Tour “In the Footsteps of Saint Francis,” sponsored by The Assisi Workshops™ opens the door to a world mystery, majesty, beauty and personal transformation.

Cost*: $2750 Cost includes transportation from Rome to Assisi and back. Housing, breakfast, a full-course traditional “pranzo” (Italian mid-day meal) at a local restaurant; guest lectures and an excursions.  Airfare is not included. 

Registration fee $250.00 (applied to total cost): Payable to Wendy Murray/The Assisi Workshops™ 


TENTATIVE SCHEDULE [subject to minor changes]


Travel Day, Friday Oct. 8: Fly from Boston to Rome (Alitalia: direct)

Day One, Sat., Oct. 9: Arrive from Boston to Rome flight); travel by bus from Rome to Assisi; settle into rooms; afternoon visit to the tomb of St. Francis; evening stroll through Piazza del Comune.

 Day Two, Sun., Oct.10:     Francis’ early years       

Breakfast: 8:30 in Guest House

10:00 to 12:45 

Childhood home

San Giorgio (his childhood school)

Visit to the fortress of La Rocca (where he fought in Assisi’s Civil War)

San Rufino (early preaching)

Clare’s Family Home

1:00 Pranzo at Monaci’s: a Family-run local popular restaurant in Assisi

2:30 – 4:00 Q & A / Lecture with Wendy

4:00 –  7:30  Free Time

7:45 – 10:00  Welcome dinner

Day Three, Mon., Oct. 11:       Crisis and Conversion     

Breakfast 8:30 at Guest House

 9:30 to 12:45

Visit to the Eremo—The Hermitage above Assisi where Francis spent many long hours in prayer before his conversion      

Bishop’s Courtyard where he stripped naked before his family and friends, renouncing his old life

 1:00 Pranzo at local restaurant

2:30 to 4:00  Q & A / Visit with Brother Thomas Anthony, of St. Leonard’s, an Anglican English-speaking Franciscan brother.

Day Four, Tues., Oct 12:       Beginnings     

Breakfast 8:30 at Guest House

 9:30 to 12:45 

Brother Bernard’s House: Where Francis stayed often with this wealthy citizen of Assisi who became the first to follow him

Rivo Torto: an early location of the small band of followers

The Portiuncula: the little church Francis rebuilt that became the seat of the Order.

1:00 Pranzo

2:30 to 4:00 Q & A / Discussion with Brother Carlo Bottero, at the Biblioteca (Library) at the Sacro Convento, Basilica of St. Francis (need to confirm).

 4:00 on: free time

Day Five, Wed., Oct. 13:          The Active Years  

Breakfast at 8:30 at Guest House

9:30 to 12:45                                                

Travel to Orvieto by train: Visit to the Monastery of San Paolo and the Studio for Art, Faith and History.

1:00 Pranzo [at a local restaurant in Orvieto]

 2:30 -4:00 Q & A / Lecture with Professor John Skillen, Gordon College

Day Six, Thurs., Oct 14:      The Final Years     

Breakfast at 8:30 at Guest House

 9:30 to 12:45

Travel to La Verna by Van: Where Francis received the 5 wounds of Christ known as the stigmata

Bag lunch

 2:30 – 4:00 Q &A / lecture with WM on the visit with the Sultan in Damietta, Egypt; the writing of the Canticle of Creation; Francis’ eye cauterization

Day Seven, Fri., Oct. 15:           

Breakfast and debriefing 8:30

Depart for Rome by train

Registration Deadline: May 15, 2010 

Non-refundable deposit of $250 due upon registration**

Limited to 12

Needed supplies and orientation materials:

A Mended and Broken Heart, the Life and Love of Francis of Assisi, by Wendy Murray

Journal / notebook

Very comfortable walking shoes: strong legs and good lungs (Assisi is all hills)


· All participants must have passports.

· Emergency Contacts – information for participants of

emergency contact number(s) in-country will be provided. These include hotel(s),

local co-sponsors and facilitators who can reach you in-country at all times.

The workshop sponsor will also need a list of emergency contact numbers

for the participants in case of changes in plans or emergencies that require making contact.

Other independent activities include a trip to Deruta; local wineries and olive producers; art galleries and theater performances.

For more information contact

* Final costs are subject to change, depending upon dollar/euro ratio.

** The registration fee will be remitted in full if the Study Tour is cancelled due to lack of regristrants.