Ciao! Today we went to the San Miniato Church and discussed the meaning of family with Fra. Bernardo. Church is a huge part of Florence as a city. The San Miniato Church overlooks the whole city. The two circular patterns on the face of the church represent God’s eyes, which watch and protectFlorence. To get to the church we took a crazy bus ride to the highest point in the city, but once you arrived the views were so breathtaking (you forget the crazy driving you just experienced).
As a group we had the honor to talk with Fra. Bernardo. He first described the front of the church, the face displayed on the front represents God watching over Florence. The arches are inspired by Rome, not so much the gothic styles that are synonymous with time-honored churches. The church was the first to have color: green and white marble.
Walking up the stairs and seeing the church was an incredible view, but once you turned around it was breathtaking. These photos do not do the view or the church justice. It is a place everyone needs to visit; religious or not.
Fra. Bernardo led us inside the the church to describe the detail of the mosaics. There is a depiction of the 12 zodiacs on the floor. I was shocked by that and it was neat to learn the meaning behind the paintings of people on the wall. Through the rectangular window on the face of the church, the light that shines during the summer solstice (June 21st) makes a spotlight on the cancer zodiac, which is across from the capricorn zodiac (Jesus was born under the capricorn).
Visiting with Fra. Bernardo was a great pleasure. I loved hearing his input on family and the way he sees love. It starts from the inside and then goes out. He said the greatest threat to the family would be if one left and strayed from the love. Leaving the love inside is not good. To focus on the inside then grow out is the best way to strengthen the family bond.
Fra. Bernardo gave the message of love. That you should love your neighbor and family. Put out the love and joy and not hatred and judgement.