From TripAdvisor (unedited):
One summer day in Rome – on 9 July 2010 – as I was preparing my bags for a stayover in Assisi, my buddy hinted to me with a smile on his face: “go and take a look at the dove(s) when you pass by the statue of St Francis – at the Basilica of St Mary of the Angels…” and I was left in some kind of awesome mystery… I sensed that the 2 doves are REAL doves.. and yet they choose to come to visit each day at this Basilica…in Assisi…
“I must go and take a closer look”… I said to myself as I packed my bags to go to Assisi…
As I had the privilege to stay for 4 days in Assisi, as I visited the Basilica Santa Maria Degli Angeli (Basilica of St Mary of the Angels) – as I was left in awe within this very amazing one of its kind Basilica – with the Porziuncula (Little Portion – a Church within the Basilca) – before I could get over the awe of this miracle – I was enchanted by this amazing sight at the big statue of St Francis – I wished I could stand and stare at this daily miracle!
Yes, the doves are REAL doves – and there are 2 of them – white doves – somehow, they choose to come and dwell in the basket which St Francis holds in his hands.. and why is this so?
Well, you need to go and SEE it for yourself – when you visit Assisi –
There are miracles happening in and around us each day – and yet this IS a daily miracle!
Deo Gratias & Pax et Bonum.
From Caftours [unedited]:
Located in the Italian region of Umbria is the charming town of Assisi; famous of course for its association with Saint Francis of Assisi. This town is home to windy little streets, ancient buildings, and of course, the Santa Maria Degli Angeli, which is one of the largest Christian sanctuaries in the world. Part of this sanctuary is the original stone chapel, called the Porziuncola, which is where St. Francis lived and worked after founding the Franciscan Order. It is also where he had his vision in 1216, during which he witnessed the Virgin Mary. Following this vision, the church was visited by a great many pilgrims, and thus the great Baroque church was also built.
Outside the basilica is the Roselo, or Rose Garden. Here, you will find a very special type of rose: one without any thorns! Legend has it that in this location, Saint Francis himself rolled naked amongst the thorn bushes, in order to combat doubt and temptation. It is then said that on contact with the Saint’s body, thorn-less roses began to bloom, and they still do to this day! These special flowers can only be found in this particular rose garden, and are named Rosa Canina Assisiensis. On the wall of the courtyard, you can see a mural of St. Francis, surrounded by the modest Porziuncola chapel, olive groves and of course, thorn-less red roses.
Spend time visiting the Porziuncola in Assisi and of course, take a leisurely stroll through the Saint Francis of Assisi Rose Garden, and see for yourself that these special roses really are completely thorn-less.
From Sanctuario de San Antonio Parish:
The legend said that Saint Francis was being besieged by the devil leaving him feeling inadequate and insecure about his faith and piety. He threw himself naked amongst the thorn bushes thinking that if the thorns will do its job and hurt him and make him suffer, the doubts and temptation will go away. It is then said that on contact with the Saint’s body, thorn-less roses began to bloom, and they still do to this day.
These special flowers can only be found in this particular rose garden, and are named Rosa Canina Assisiensis. On the wall of the courtyard you can see a mural of St. Francis, surrounded by the modest Porziuncola chapel, olive groves, and the thornless red roses. There is also a bronze statue of St. Francis with his hand resting on a sheep, seemingly talking and soothing its anxiety. I thought it was a gentle image of St. Francis and Christ, the sacrificial lamb.
If you chance to be in Italy, include the Porziuncola in Assisi, and don’t miss the thornless rose garden of Saint Francis of Assisi.
[see also: Legend of the winter roses]