The path of the Franciscan Proto-Martyrs
An inspiring walking path in the Terni area, among the places of Franciscan proto-martyrs as well as the ones loved by Saint Francis.
Berardo, Ottone, Peter, Accursio and Adiuto are the names of the Franciscan Proto-Martyrs Saints, the first martyrs of the order, killed in Morocco in 1220, to defend their profound and unconditional faith in Christ.
We propose you a walking path starting from Terni and crossing Stroncone, Aguzzo, Calvi dell'Umbria, Narni and Saint Gemini, native cities of the Proto-Martyrs Saints, and ending in the Saint Antony Sanctuary of the Franciscan Proto-Martyrs in Terni, following a path along the places where Saint Francis preached the Gospel.
The path is divided in six stages, but you can even create intermediate ones to relax or to deepen the knowledge of some places.
The first stage goes from Terni to Stroncone: the path is in the nature, along the Terni's hills. In the church of Saint Mary of the Peace, you can stop to look at the painting ensemble of Stefano di Stasio dedicated to the Franciscan Proto-Martyrs. Along your path, you can glimpse the rests of the ancient Saint Benedict in Fundis abbey and the Saint Simeon Monastery where today lives the religious community of the Rebuilders in the Prayer. The path ends in the Convent of Saint Francis in Stroncone, the village where Saint Ottone was born.
The second stage of the path goes from Stroncone until Calvi dell'Umbria. Even this part of the road takes place entirely in the nature. You will pass through Aguzzo, the Saint Accursio city and the Hermitage of Saint Urban, where Saint Francis stayed for a long time and where he transformed water into wine. You will find yourself in Calvi dell'Umbria, the Saint Bernard city: here you can admire a monumental nativity scene made of the sixteenth century terracotta, unique in its kind in Umbria. You will end the path in the Church of Saint Mary Assunta.
You are leaving from here for the third stage of the walk that is leading you until Narni: it's the longest stage of the walk, but also the richest of places to visit. It starts with the Saint Michael Archangel church, ancient Benedictine abbey in Schifanoia to reach Saint Pudenziana, church of Roman origin, and Saint Angel Castle in Massa, originally a Benedictine abbey, for then finishing with the visit to the majestic Albornoz fortress in Narni, city where Saint Adiuto was born. The path finishes in Narni in the Saint Francis church.
The fourth stage takes place in the beautiful countryside connecting Narni and Saint Gemini: visit immediately the 10th century Saint Cassiano abbey and the sanctuary of the Madonna del Ponte (Bridge Madonna), place attended by pilgrims since the antiquity as well as the Sanctuary of Saint Mary of the Oak. You'll reach then San Gemini, Saint Peter city, where you'll end your path in the Church of Saint Francis.
Start again from Saint Gemini and head towards Cesi, along mountains paths. Visit along the road the Carsulae archeological site. At the end of the stage, you will meet the Romita di Cesi, where a minor monk, supported by a group of volunteers, brought back to the ancient splendor a beautiful Franciscan convent, where the Poor of Assisi composed the first version of the Creatures Canticle.
The last stage is leaving from the Church of Santa Maria Assunta in Cesi and is leading you to the starting point: Terni. This part takes place almost entirely along a paved path; along the path visit the Sanctuary of Santa Maria dell'Oro (Golden Saint Mary) where was located the ancient Franciscan convent, built for the will of San Bernardino from Siena. The path of Franciscan Proto-Martyrs ends in a symbolic place: the Church of Saint Antony from Padova, where are placed the relics of the Franciscan Martyrs Saints.
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