An isolated mountain hallowed by association with St. Francis of Assisi, situated in the centre of the Tuscan Appenines, and rising about 4000 feet above the valley of the Casentino. Its name (Latin, Alverna) is said to come from the Italian verb vernare , to make cold or freeze. On 8 May, 1213, La Verna was given to St. Francis by Count Orlando of Chiusi as a retreat "specially favourable for contemplation ". Thither the siant withdrew in August, 1224, to keep a forty days fast in preparation for Michelmas, and it was while praying on the mountain-side that he received (on or about 14 Sept.) the stigmata. Thenceforth La Verna became sacred ground. Pope Alexander IV took it under his protection. In 1260 a church was consecrated there in presence of St. Bonaventure and several bishops. A few years later the Chapel of the Stigmata was erected, through the munificence of Count Simone of Battifole, near the spot where the miracle took place. An older chapel, S. Maria degli Angeli, which was built 1218 for St. Francis by Orlando, is approached from the sacristy of the Chiesa Maggiore, which was begu in 1348, but not finished until 1459. From the latter church the friars dwelling on La Verna go in solemn procesion twice daily (at 2 P.M. and at midnight) to the Chapel of the Stigmata. On the Feast of the Stigmata (17 Sept.) and on other festivals, large crowds of priests with their people from neighbouring parishes, as well as strangers, visit the mountains, and on sch occasions the friars often accommodate and entertain between 2000 and 3000 pilgrims. The convent was partly destroyed by fire in the fifteenth century; it suffered desecration also during the war of this century. In 1810, and again in 1866, the friars were expelled in consequence of the suppression of religious orders. At present they are in possession of La Verna which belongs, however, to the municipality of Florence.
More Catholic Encyclopedia
Browse Encyclopedia by Alphabet
The Catholic Encyclopedia is the most comprehensive resource on Catholic teaching, history, and information ever gathered in all of human history. This easy-to-search online version was originally printed in fifteen hardcopy volumes.
Designed to present its readers with the full body of Catholic teaching, the Encyclopedia contains not only precise statements of what the Church has defined, but also an impartial record of different views of acknowledged authority on all disputed questions, national, political or factional. In the determination of the truth the most recent and acknowledged scientific methods are employed, and the results of the latest research in theology, philosophy, history, apologetics, archaeology, and other sciences are given careful consideration.
No one who is interested in human history, past and present, can ignore the Catholic Church, either as an institution which has been the central figure in the civilized world for nearly two thousand years, decisively affecting its destinies, religious, literary, scientific, social and political, or as an existing power whose influence and activity extend to every part of the globe. In the past century the Church has grown both extensively and intensively among English-speaking peoples. Their living interests demand that they should have the means of informing themselves about this vast institution, which, whether they are Catholics or not, affects their fortunes and their destiny.
Browse the Catholic Encyclopedia by Topic
Copyright © Catholic Encyclopedia. Robert Appleton Company New York, NY. Volume 1: 1907; Volume 2: 1907; Volume 3: 1908; Volume 4: 1908; Volume 5: 1909; Volume 6: 1909; Volume 7: 1910; Volume 8: 1910; Volume 9: 1910; Volume 10: 1911; Volume 11: - 1911; Volume 12: - 1911; Volume 13: - 1912; Volume 14: 1912; Volume 15: 1912
Catholic Online Catholic Encyclopedia Digital version Compiled and Copyright © Catholic Online