It was an exciting morning for everyone, for soon after breakfast, a road travel to Assisi was on the agenda. Assisi, a blessed place known world over today because of St Francis, who was designated Patron Saint of Italy, and was cannonised in 1228. St Francis lived and preached the noble path of God and the service to others. When Swami had visited Assisi in 2017, He had wanted to come back this year and had also willed that a Centre for Human Development would be established in the sacred land.
Swami reached Assisi close to noon, and was driven up straight to ‘Casa Del Divino’ the Centre for Human Development. He was lovingly welcomed by Mrs Marilena, wife of Mr Ampelio, and the entire family. Swami inaugurated the Centre, walked around the entire place, and even took group photographs with everyone. Swami then sat down in the Satsang room, and spoke to all gathered about the place. He spoke about how the teaching of St Francis is similar to that of Christ, which is ‘serve others’. Thereafter, lunch was served to all.
In the evening, yet again everyone gathered in the cosy Satsang room. Sister Giovanna from Assisi had also come to take part in the spiritual evening. Mr Ampelio thanked Swami for the extraordinary opportunity He was given. “With the strength given by the Master we have been able to do all this. And the joy is enveloping , and it will continue to be with us. It’s not the chronological age that defines youth, it’s all about the love which we give and receive. Swami has given me an engine, but without the petrol nothing can be fine. And the petrol is the extraordinary family that I have! You must believe what the Master says, and I am saying this from my experience. This will be a place where we will receive all the youth!” Swami then said, as “As you are in touch with God, you will reopen. One has to hold on to the Master, to ripen in His grace!”
Sister Giovanna offered her gratitude to Swami for the Centre, and expressed her deep love for all gathered. Swami spoke about how she derives great joy in the presence of Sai. He revealed her favourite work, to take people to God! Swami then spoke about St Francis, and told everyone how would loose consciousness by watching nature around. “That is the glory of this place. Their holiness, sacredness and energy stays. All who come here, will feel the same energy!”
Swami then asked everyone a question, “What is Human Development?” He Himself answered it by saying, “When human develops into divine, it is human development! Man should grow to become divine. This Centre should guide those who have lost their way, and help them make themselves divine!”Mr Isaac Tigrett and Sri C Sreenivas expressed their deep appreciation to Mr Ampelio and his family for the wonderful work they have done with the Centre. Sri B N Narasimha Murthy spoke about how the divine will alone cannot achieve anything, but an instrument is also required, and he also expressed his love and appreciation to Mr Ampelio and the family. It was a wonderful and informal setting, and soon dinner was served to all. Swami blessed everyone, and retired for the night.
The next morning, Swami urged his young graduates from the Sri Sathya Centre for Human Excellence and entourage to go around Assisi, and see all the important places, and assured that He would join them at the Basilica of Santa Chiara. Meanwhile, Swami walked around the property yet again, and even went to a little waterfall at the farthest end of the premises. Mr Ampelio and his family had a blissful walk with Sai, and then everyone proceeded to the the Basilica, where all the graduates and even the youth from various countries were all waiting around in anticipation to receive the Lord. Swami walked around the Basilica explaining about the life of service and selflessness which was let by Santa Chiara, a follower of St Francis, who founded the Order of Saint Claire. After spending wonderful moments with everyone, Swami departed for Casa Del Divino where lunch was served to Him. Preparations were in full swing for the Public Satsang in the evening, where over 400 people had gathered. Swami entered Bhajans, and as He took His seat, soulful Italian songs were offered at His Lotus Feet, which took everyone to a different realm. An emotional Brother Salvatore Iozza welcomed everyone, quoted a prayer by St Francis, and invited Sister Giovanna to speak. She yet again submitted herself to Sai, and thanked Him for the opportunity. Swami has commanded her to guide youth who come to Casa Del Divino towards the path of God!
Mr Isaac Tigrett spoke about Swami taught him the formless nature of God, and only when he realised this formless nature which resides within everyone, was He allowed to come near Him! “The truth is that you are Divine beings and you are immortal. And you are part of something that is known as the cosmic collective. That means that you are each attached to each other, we are all attached with this amazing thread of Divinity to one another. Every thought and every action affects the collective. You must understand this great truth, this great opportunity to serve the collective, to serve the Cosmic Visitor!” Sri C Sreenivas in his speech reminded everyone that somewhere deep within a St. Francis is in each person. He thanked Swami for having aroused, awakened and kindled the spirit of St. Francis within everyone! Sri B N Narasimha Murthy spoke about the similarities of the Indian and Italian cultures, and praised Mr Ampelio for all the efforts towards ensuring the Centre for Human Development was ready for Swami’s visit.
Swami in His divine discourse spoke to the young graduates and said, “Even if a per cent of that life, that sacrifice, that love of St. Francis if you can imbibe in your lives, let Me tell you, you will have fulfilment. He is not very old, young boy he was when he took to this path. And in the service of mankind, he lay down his life ultimately. And because he led by example, by practice, he inspired many more to follow this path. And in the world today, we don’t see another order of this kind where young men and women take to this path of celibacy, sacrifice and service for the sake of the greater good of mankind!” Mr Ampelio had earlier asked Swami what the rules of the Centre should be, and Swami replied in His own inimitable style during the discourse by saying, “So Ampilio was asking, ‘What should be the rules and regulations of this Ashram?’ I don’t know about other rules but this one rule should be followed: Every body who comes to the Ashram must go to St. Francis, St. Clare, get inspired and only then go back home. That should be one rule that must be followed!” After blessing everyone profusely, Mangala Arati was offered to the Lord, and Prasadam was distributed. Swami returned to Casa Del Divino, and after dinner retired for the night.
The next morning, April 12, Mangala Arati was offered to Bhagawan and He blessed everyone present with tokens of His love. His entourage proceeded to Rome from Assisi for their flight back to Bangalore, after almost 18 days travelling from country to country experiencing divine love beyond boundaries!