Julia Bolton Holloway has sent the following message to Carolyn and me,
which we are happy to forward to the list. -- George
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Today I asked at the Franciscans' Santa Croce in Florence, and the
priest, divesting himself of his vestments from just celebrating Mass,
went and photocopied for me the letter to them from fra Agostino Gardin,
Minister General. I give a translation/precis below:
There have been a series of earthquakes. The damage to the upper
Basilica is great and even the lower Basilica has cracks. The external
left transept has a huge crack and stones have fallen. The papal hall
has sustained the fall of part of its roof. The refectory is unusable as
are many of the friars' cells. The Basicilas are closed. The friars are
now housed in other friaries elsewhere. The funeral Mass for fra Angelo
Api and postulant Zdzislaw Borowiec was held outdoors as was also the
celebration of St Francis. All the churches in Assisi are closed. The
Clarissans of Santa Chiara have had to abandon their convent, likewise
the Clarissans at Spello, the latter now living in tents in the garden.
For those in Italy money can be sent for restoration work to 'conto
corrente bancario, no 26000/03 (codice AB1-6235-CAB03001), Cassa di
Risparmio di Perugia', marked 'Basilica di San Francesco in Assisi'.
For those abroad, perhaps a letter and cheque, clearly stating the
purpose, to Minister Generalis, Ordinis Fratrum Minorum Conventualium,
Piazza SS. Apostoli, 51, 00187 ROMA, ITALY?
Very little information has been given out about the frescoes. More
concern is expressed about the building. Even more about the deaths. And
most of all about the laypeople and the damage done to their homes and
workplaces. This last category would likely have been Francis' first
one! Have the Clarissans ever had to leave their mother house before?
Fra Agostino concludes in this letter to Franciscans everywhere, 'Il
Padre san Francesco ci dia uno spirito di fortezza, di speranza e di
abbandono fiducioso nel Signore'. May St Francis give you strength, hope
and trust in God.
Please circulate to all interested parties.
Julia Bolton Holloway, Hermit of the Holy Family
via del Partigiano 16, Montebeni, 50014 FIESOLE, ITALY
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'Lord, of your goodness, give me yourself: for you are enough to me.
I may not ask anything that is less, that is so worthy of you. If I ask
anything less, ever I want, for only in you I have all.'
Julian of Norwich, Westminster Manuscript