The Footsteps of Francis in Italy
Wonder Voyage has partnered with Jeff Johnson to present a Selah pilgrimage: The Footsteps of St. Francis in Italy. Join us as we partake in a voyage across Italy that will feast on some of the world’s most profound art, deepest pools of history, and most delectable food. Our central focus will be on the life and faith of St. Francis who profoundly altered the course of history through his devotion to Christ. The Footsteps of Francis will offer plentiful opportunities to encounter God’s peace in the holy “thin spaces” of Assisi where monks and travelers have encountered God’s peace for centuries.
Jeff Johnson’s Selah worship experience is a blend of contemplation, prayerful meditation, sung worship, and silence. We will weave this unique spiritual experience into a one-of-a-kind itinerary that includes cultural immersion, expert-guided tours, and fine dining. Each day has two tracks – one featuring a quieter, slower-paced, cultural experience and another offering more energetic activities, such as hiking, biking, and exploration. We invite you to be one of the 15 adventure seekers to join us on this special journey.
- Single Supplement: +$500
What is included in price:
- Beautiful Lodging
- Breakfast and Dinners
- All Ground Transportation
- Quality Voyage Guides
- Unique Cultural Experiences
- Jeff Johnson led Selah Experiences
What is NOT included in price:
- Travel insurance*
- Snacks/supplies for extreme dietary needs
*Travel insurance is required.
A non-refundable deposit of $300.00 per person is required to reserve your place. The final balance of three equal payments are due April 1, 2022, May 1, 2022 and July 1, 2022.
- Day 1 & 2 – Roma (Wednesday & Thursday, September 14- 15)
Benvenuto in Italia (Welcome to Italy)! As soon as we land, our voyage will head to Rome. As you settle into a Selah rhythm we will visit many of Rome’s iconic sites. We’ll spend the morning visiting places like the Colosseum and the Pantheon, plus a special visit to some of the sacred sites in Trastevere. Each evening will be filled with delicious meals, lively conversation, and time to reflect on the day’s encounters with the holy. Taking a couple of days to adjust with tasty Italian fare and lively conversation will prepare us for a fantastic week in Italy.
- Day 4 – 6 – Assisi (Friday – Monday, September 16 – 19)
Pilgrimage embraces the unexpected, which is something that our week is sure to bring. Over the next few days, we will trace the footsteps of St. Francis. Throughout our journey, we will explore places like Santa Chiara, Gubbio, and San Damiano as we learn about the life of Francis’ most famous disciple, St. Claire. We will worship in Santa Maria Degli Angeli, the baroque church that was built over the Porziuncola. The little chapel restored by St. Francis contains the simple cell where he died. From there we will ascent to Eremo Delle Carceri, a monastery in the dense woodlands on the side of Monte Subasio. In the caves on the slope of this mountain, St. Francis and his followers established their first home where he often prayed and meditated. We will have the chance to do the same during our visit. We’ll be able to experience modern-day monastic life in Assisi and see the continued work of St. Francis alive in men and women today. For the adventurous ones, you’ll have a chance to bike the countryside around Assisi and see this voyage from a two-wheel perspective. We will end our time in Assisi at the Basilica di San Francesco, which contains twenty-eight scenes from the life of St. Francis. In the crypt beneath the church, we’ll spend a few reverent minutes at his tomb.
- Day 7 – 9 – La Verna (Tuesday – Thursday, September 20 – 22)
For the next couple of days, we will soak in the mountain retreat Francis’ considered his place of healing and restoration. Donated to Francis in 1213, the La Verna monastery sits atop Mount Penna in Arezzo. A hermitage was created on the mount and became the favorite site for Francis and his followers for spending long periods of meditation and prayer. Francis’ last stay at La Verna was in 1224 when he was already tired and ill. During this time, while he was absorbed in praying, he had a vision and received the stigmata that he carried until his death two years later. You will find this a profound place of peace and silence.
- Day 9 – Addio Italia “Farewell Italy” (Friday, September 23)
This week we will have walked in the footsteps of St. Francis, traveled through history, heard stories of inspiration, and created our own stories. We will return home with a renewed faith as we part with the pilgrim’s blessing ascribed to Francis: Lord, make me an instrument of your peace. Where there is hatred let me sow love. Where there is injury, pardon. Where there is doubt, faith. Where there is despair, hope. Where there is darkness, light. And where there is sadness, joy.
Shawn Small – Voyage Director
For the past twenty years, Shawn’s Wonder Voyage has led thousands of seekers into the ancient sacrament of pilgrimage in over forty countries. He is a storyteller, author, documentary film maker and a wonderful host.
Jeff Johnson – Worship Leader
About the time Shawn began Wonder Voyage, Jeff was developing the Christian contemplative worship service called the Selah Service. From its beginnings, Selah took much inspiration from the Christian Celtic tradition which is at the heart of this pilgrimage.