Monday, December 12, 2016

Advent-A Secret Kept By An Entire City

photo by Mary Vee
It's the third week of Advent 2016.

Set aside the crazy aspects that take place, you know what they are, and think of the heart meaning of Advent with me. 

Breathe in deeply. Hold the air. Slowly release. Ready? This is a time of wonder and preparation. Dedicate your thoughts for what is about to come: The celebration of the birth of Christ the King.

Feels good, yes?

Okay, I couldn't keep from talking to you about Italy another week. I learned so much about the rich heritage of this country while there. Trust me, you'll see why today's post is worth your time and its connection with Advent. 

Photo by Mary Vee

After walking through the entrance of St. Francis Basilica, through the lower chapel with the breathtaking painted ceilings, up the narrow stairs, and out to a court, I saw this view.

The lower brick area was the first floor I just walked through, the upper stained glass windows are the third floor, the main chapel where the Pope holds mass when he visits. In between these two magnificent chapels is a hidden second floor. 

I saw no access.

But this secret space served a crucial purpose.

During WWII, Hitler marched his troops into Assisi. Before the tanks arrived, the city banned together to harbor all the Jews. Priests provided this space between the two chapels to hide three hundred Jews

Secluded in this windowless area, smuggled food and water kept the Jews alive. A European couple had the equipment and ability to forge documents. One family at a time received their documents giving them new names and the necessary paperwork to leave the country.

During this time, one Nazi soldier came to the church for mass, secretly he was Catholic. He walked about the Basilica and figured out the unseen second floor. He mentioned his observation to the priest and promised not to tell anyone.

Photo by Mary Vee
Gradually the last Jewish family fled the city. All three hundred Jews safely fled the country.

Years later, Jerusalem sent a gift to the city of Assisi in appreciation of their sacrifice. Marble was dug from a Jerusalem quarry and shipped to Assisi. In this immense court, stripes of white marble from Jerusalem serve as a constant reminder. 

A reminder of great sacrifice made to save the lives of many. 

Take a walk with me through the city of Assisi, 
a city built on a hill.

Photo by Mary Vee

The gate, entrance to the city.

Photo by Mary Vee
Photo by Mary Vee

Photo by Mary Vee

Blessings on your Advent season.

This post has been brought to you by the one word: Advent'sUltimateSacrifice

If you have questions or want to know more about Christ's ultimate sacrifice, 
please feel free to email me, 

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