Anne's Blog

Celebrating Good Friday in Assisi: World War II Jewish Refugees Remembered

Date: May 9, 2017 - categories: , , , , , - 2 Comments

The evocative early morning Assisi Good Friday procession is not to be missed. The 17th-century Cristo Morto image is carried through the Assisi medieval alleyways on a funeral bier, with stops at cloistered convents for veneration of the nuns.

The route varies, year to year. I always try to go ahead of the procession to one of the convents to await the arrival of Cristo with the nuns, heads bowed in prayer.


This year, I was awaiting the heavy drum beats announcing the Cristo Morto’s arrival at the Monastero di San Quirico together with the cloistered Poor Clares.

The Poor Clares of San Quirico await the arrival of the Dead Christ statue in prayer, embroidered bier ready to receive Him:



The Cristo Morto is carried into San Quirico


The devotion of the Poor Clares is evident:






…….and I was reflecting on the convent’s history as a place of refuge. In 1943- 1944, Jewish refugees were hidden in six different religious edifices in Assisi and San Quirico was one. On October 8, 1943, a group of refugees from various European locales united in one of the convent rooms to celebrate Yom Kippur. The cloistered Poor Clares had surprised them by decorating that room with flowers petals and the day ended with the Sisters serving the refugees at table.

San Quirico continues to be a place of solace.


The Cristo Morto leaves the San Quirico convent and the awaiting procession of the locals outside will follow behind:








Read more about the early morning procession – and see the photos
Read about the stunning evening Assisi Good Friday procession
Read about Holy Saturday Assisi rural traditions
Read more on Holy Saturday celebrations
Read more about the medieval confraternities
Read more about Assisi’s Underground during World War II
Read more about the Assisi, Museum of Memory
Read about the Yad Veshem tribute to Don Aldo Brunacci and four others from Assisi
Graziella Viterbi and family were saved thanks to the “Assisi Underground” – read about her here
More on Graziella’s story here
Click here for a video on Don Aldo’s testimony
Read more on Assisi’s help to the Jewish refugees in World War II
Read how the California Jewish community thanked Assisi following the 1997 earthquake
Read more on Good Friday morning in Assisi
Read about the stunning evening Assisi Good Friday procession
Read about Holy Saturday Assisi rural traditions
Read more on Holy Saturday celebrations
Read more about the medieval confraternities


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Agenzia Viaggi Stoppini in Assisi handles all technical support for my guided visits (bus transportation, organization of meals, etc)