June 21, 1998
My husband and I have just returned from a delightful visit to Assisi, Italy. The most unique part of the visit was the lack of crowds. Since the earthquake in September 1997, the tour books and travel editors have said "don't go." What a mistake! The city is lovely and most of it is undamaged. In keeping with the Italian flair for making everything bella, even the scaffolding is beautiful, with sparkling brass hinges. The lower basilica of St. Francis Church is undamaged. The upper basilica was damaged, and the city has put together a wonderful exhibit in a separate building that shows the video of the actual earthquake (in reality, an aftershock)
January 12, 2012 |
Imagine being a Southern California kid growing up near the beach in Orange County and deciding to head to Italy on your 16th birthday to spend nine months at a boarding school, leaving behind your mother, father, younger brother and friends to follow your dream of trying to become a professional soccer player. Kris Picarelli said he was inspired by his cousin, Italian national team goalkeeper Anna Marie Picarelli, so he packed up his suitcase and boarded a plane Sept. 16, 2010, and didn't return for good until June 20, 2011, missing his sophomore year of high school.
March 13, 2013 |
What's in a pope's name? By choosing the name Francis, the Argentine Jesuit who will lead the world's 1.2 billion Roman Catholics has signaled a devotion to simple living and social justice, analysts say. No pope has ever chosen to be called Francis before, and it was not among the names favored by oddsmakers betting on which the new pontiff would choose. The name harks back to St. Francis of Assisi, who founded the Franciscan order. PHOTOS: Electing a pope Picking a name is the first decision made by the new pontiff and a closely watched sign of how he will lead the church.
March 29, 2009
I read Susan Spano's article on Siena with interest ["Tuscany in Repose," March 15], but was disappointed that it did not mention St. Catherine of Siena, whose head and thumb are on display in the Basilica of San Domenico. She is the patroness saint of Italy. Writing about Siena without mentioning St. Catherine is like writing about Assisi without mentioning St. Francis. Dave Johnston Fountain Valley
March 16, 2013 |
VATICAN CITY -- He's a charmer. Pope Francis on Saturday went before several thousand journalists, thanked them for their work, told a joke or two and even blessed (or at least patted) someone's guide dog. In a custom that dates at least to John Paul II, one of the pope's first public appearances was a meeting in the modern Paul VI Hall with an estimated 5,000 reporters who are based in Rome or had flown in to cover the week's historic events. Francis sat on the stage in a large but relatively simple chair and read a speech that thanked the press for its work during this “intense period” which had focused the world's eyes on the Roman Catholic Church.
October 4, 1997 |
Central Italy quivered and shook again on Friday, as earthquakes injured 20 people and inflicted more damage on the Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi and other buildings hit by temblors a week ago. The earthquakes sparked panic in people still alarmed by the earlier shocks. Many residents once again fled homes and offices for the safety of open areas. "What is this mystery of the earth moving? Can't it stay still?" asked the Rev. Pasquale Magro, head of the the basilica's museum.