What place in this or another country has really moved you, and why? That’s a question I’d like to ask, in light of a recent column on Assisi, Italy, home of the world renowned St. Francis. Reactions to the column from all over the country fascinated and encouraged me. So today, I’m asking – what place has touched you most? What was it about that place that you found so important?
Here are a few of the many comments from people all over the state about the Assisi column:
One of the points I made was that millions of people visit Assisi each year and find it to be a very powerful place, regardless of their religion. A Minnesota educator named Ken Simon responded,
“Some 25 years ago I went to Assisi while in Europe. As a young Jewish man, I was moved by the story of St. Francis. My stay in Assisi was quite moving. I spent two days with two Franciscan monks from Northern Ireland that I met there and a Franciscan Priest from Australia that I met on the bus there and who had come there on a pilgrimage. I still carry the memory of those two days and the conversations that the four of us, all strangers, had.”
Another educator in Massachusetts named Meg Campbell responded, “Yesterday was the feast of St. Francis. I love him and I am Catholic. I so want to go… some day!!”
A University of Minnesota professor named Karen wrote, “Such inspiration is often completely separate from the particular religious convictions of the individual because the actions reach into something much deeper.
Former Minnesota Commissioner of Education Alice Seagren explained “Your article lifted me up, too. …St. Francis gave up all to serve God but he reminds us that our possessions are leant to us to use to serve and help others. Thanks for sharing such a simple yet powerful message!
From a former student named Jasmine, now teaching in Liberia: “Thank you for sharing this. If you do not mind, I would love to use your pictures in a music unit I teach on early music. I like to draw parallels between music, art and architecture.”
Another educator named Christine from Minneapolis told me that the story of Assisi was “Exactly what I needed to start my day.”
Former state legislator Tom Emmer wrote, “This is great – thanks.”
The attached picture illustrates a little of the beauty of this ancient town. But it’s not just the town, it’s the example of a man who lived and worked there. Is the combination of an extraordinary landscape, and a person who has accomplished something there that has much impressed you? Or is it the natural beauty of a place? Or is it something else?
That’s what I’d like to know: What, where and why? Please respond in a few sentences, and I’ll share some of the most moving responses.