A Holy City in Cappuccino Style, Assisi, Umbria, Italy

The city of Assisi, Perugia, Italy.

Pietro di Bernardone was a successful silk merchant in Assisi, Umbria. Like every normal man and businessman, he wanted to have a son who would continue the family business letting his father relax under the tender sun of Italy when time and age would demand their tribute. But his wife, a French noblewoman, Pica de Bourlemont, gave birth exclusively to girls. There were already six of them, when upon his return from another business trip to Provence, France, Pietro found out about the birth of his first son. History is silent on how many months the father was absent.

Pietro was so happy that he named his boy Francesco (Francis) because he adored France. Apparently, France was a brilliant country even in the 12th century. Francis grew to be a smart, fun, and good-looking boy, very attractive to the girls, and his father’s wealth made this attractiveness irresistible. The young man had nothing against such a destiny and was enjoying the life of a rich loafer until his father put him to work in their shop. In this, Francis was also successful. It was no wonder, because most of his buyers were women.

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The Famous Ruins of Estonia: Pirita Convent

Pirita Convent Ruins Park, Tallinn, Estonia.

Pirita Convent Ruins Park, Tallinn, Estonia.

Her dream was unusual. She would be the founder and the head of a new Catholic Order. Its convents would be a home for both monks and nuns. They would be living separately, but be attending services together in one church. They would be poor, but could have as many books as they wanted.

Such a dream had visited a noble Swedish lady, Birgitta Birgersdotter, around 1345. After 25 years, she got permission from the Pope to establish the Order of the Most Holy Saviour (1370) and to start building monasteries. Sixty years later, her third community, Pirita Convent, was completed on the banks of the Pirita River where it flows into the Gulf of Finland, and became the largest nunnery in Old Livonia. Read the rest of this entry »