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ITALIAN SITES VISITED BY MARGERY KEMPE: ASSISI

In chapter 31 of her Book Margery Kempe describes how she leaves Venice and journeys to Assisi. There she visits the basilica of St. Francis:

Upon a tyme as this creatur was in cherche at Assyse, ther was schewyd owyr Ladys kerche whech sche weryd her in erth wyth gret lygth and gret reverens. Than this creatur had gret devocyon. Sche wept, sche sobbyd, sche cryed wyth gret plenté of teerys and many holy thowtys. Sche was ther also on Lammes Day, whan ther is gret pardon of plenyr remyssyon, for to purchasyn grace, mercy, and forgevenes for hirself, for alle hir frendys, for alle hir enmys, and for alle the sowlys in purgatory.
(Once this creature was at the church of Assisi, there she was shown our Ladyís headscarf which she herself wore here on earth, displayed with great attention and reverence. Than the creature was moved to great devotion; she wept, she sobbed, and she cried with plenteous tears and many holy thoughts. She was also present there on Lammas Day when the great pardon of plenary remission may be gained, so that I was able to obtain grace and mercy and forgiveness not only for herself but for all her friends and her enemies and the souls in Purgatory.)
And ther was a lady was comyn fro Rome to purchasyn hir pardon. Hir name was Margaret Florentyne and sche had wyth hir many Knygtys of Roodys, many gentylwomen, and mekyl good caryage.
In Assisi Kempe encounters the woman called Margaret Florentine who was accompanied by many knights of Rhodes and many gentlewomen; she agrees to allow Kempe and the hunchback Richard to accompany her back to Rome.

Monuments in Assisi

The Basilica of St Francis

  • Lower Chapel with tomb of Francis, relics of the Virgin, Frescos of the Life of Christ, including a Magdalen Chapel where Giotto and his followers depicted the main events from the life of Mary Magdalen with a moving image of Mary Magdalen and Christ after the Resurrection. (Noli me Tangere)  and Simoni Martini's frescos of the Life of St. Martin executed between 1318 and 1339
  • Extensive images of the frescos in the upper part of the basilica by Giotto on the Life of St Francis (about 1300). Based on the Francis's life as recounted by St. Bonaventure
Basilica of St. Clare: See, in particular, a 13th-century panel painting showing episodes of the life of St. Clare and a 12th-century crucifix typical of the art that Kempe would have seen. This crucifix is believed to have spoken to St. Francis while he was praying at St. Damianís. The crucifix was brought to the basilica of St. Clare by the Poor Clares. Facade of building.

Art of Giotto part of the Christusrex Website. Extensive survey of frescos in Padua and Florence as well as Assisi