The Hermitage of the Carceri - ASSISI
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The hermitage of the Carceri is an ancient hermitage located about five kilometres from Assisi on the slopes of Mount Subasio at an elevation of 800 m asl. It is nestled within a green forest.
The Sanctuary has evolved throughout the centuries around the cave of St. Francis and the little Chapel of St. Mary that dates back to the time of St. Francis. He spent time at “the rocks of Maloloco” even before he went to San Damiano.
Francis and his early companions spent periods of time here in contemplation and intense prayer. It was here that Friar Silvester told St. Francis that he should not live only for himself but that he should give himself to the apostolate.
The structure that is built onto the side of the rock of the mountain has been expanded throughout the centuries, with the inventive and creative fantasy of the friars, particularly with the movement of the Observants of Friar Paoluccio Trinci and St. Bernardine of Siena.
In 1237, the Hermitage of the Carceri was declared property of the Commune of Assisi and entrusted to the Friars.
St. James of the Marches was a novice here and Blessed Anthony of Stroncone carried out the office of beggar (mendicant) here for about 30 years.
The name “de carceribus” came from the huts that were similar to prison cells, where hermits first lived. Later, Francis and his companions came here to live an austere life, separated from the world.
This venerable and sacred place, of infinite beauty, leads us to discover how much the Saint was naturally drawn to extended periods of prayer in solitude, completely enraptured by the mystery of God.
Currently it is a place for spiritual retreats.